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Bruce Nicoll

Joined: March 22, 2013
Comments posted: 1
Votes received: 1

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When I say "out and about" which is seldom because it was not a phrase that was particularly common among us Southern Albertan's (now transplanted to Saskatchewan) I hear a shortened ow sound as in the "ow" we use to signal pain or the reference to the bovine female. In other words there is a slight diphthong but not anything like my brother-in-law in the states. My ah-oo does not compare with his a-oo. My diphthong begins with an "a" sound that the British use (softer and fuller) whereas the American pronuniciation "a" is closer to the soft e (more clenched) pronunciation. The second half of the diphthong is schwa e rather than an oo as in root or boot. Hence about comes out "ow followed by schwa e. I am sorry that I am not able to use the linguistic analytical symbols since it has been too long since that was part of my repertoire. Linguists would cringe. My personal pet peeve since being relocated to Saskatchewan is that in Saskatchewan "bury" which I was taught to pronounce "berry" as in the fruit is pronounced by many people in Saskatchewan by what I would call the spelling pronunciation which is "burr y where the first syllable is the same as slurry or furry. Oh yes I still use the "our" spellings of words like flavour etc. and have been occasionally heard to use the word "chesterfield" which is what I grew up with. As for Zed my reaction to the American Zee was never seen as a difference. I just thought in their enthusiasm to finish the alphabet there was a celebratory emphasis of the e portion and the d was forgotten for effect as when we gasp or hyperventilate. I have since been more correctly informed. Not as in Naawt. Actually having grown up in Southern Alberta we became acquainted with American television very early and would regularly make mocking imitation of Montana accents. Silly and juvenile but part of the process of self identification. In conclusion the issues and vagaries of accent remain in no small measure subject to the listener however a good class in linguistics goes a long ways to clarify the actual from the supposed (accent on the penultimate).

Bruce Nicoll March 22, 2013, 5:20pm

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