4.0159 Idioms; Pronunciation (2/42)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sat, 2 Jun 90 14:27:37 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0159. Saturday, 2 Jun 1990.

(1) Date: Fri, 1 JUN 90 12:17:58 BST (42 lines)
From: CHAA006@vax.rhbnc.ac.uk
Subject: RE: 4.0152 [...] Idioms [...]

(2) Date: Thu, 31 May 90 23:54:45 EDT (20 lines)
From: Julie Falsetti <JEFHC@CUNYVM>
Subject: NY speak

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 1 JUN 90 12:17:58 BST
From: CHAA006@vax.rhbnc.ac.uk
Subject: RE: 4.0152 Plurals; Idioms; Disintermediation (4/68)

>Any light from other HUMANISTs? Do Britishers stand "on queue"?

No. At least in South-East England, we stand "in a queue", or "form a
queue". The term "a line-up", which I have heard used in <Am.E> for
what I would term a "queue", I have only ever encountered once in <Br.E>,
and that is in a context where a (well educated) man thought he was going
to have to tackle a whole group of youths who were bent on trouble (he
had studied the martial arts to 4th Dan level in Japan, so he wasn't
entirely intimidated by this thought); he reported the event as "I
thought I was going to have to take on a line-up".

As to babysitting, although I have never taken part in this activity, I
believe thhat we would neither "babysit him" not "babysit for him",
assuming that "him" was the baby in question. We might "babysit with
him", but if we "babysat {\it for}" anyone, that person would have to be
the parent or guardian, not the infant.

Which brings me to my own question: in <Am.E>, I have frequently
encountered the expression "to visit with", which so far as I know does
not occur in <Br.E>; it seems from my experience of "visiting with" that
it has connotations far beyond those which are concommitant with the
<Br.E> concept of simply "visiting"; when a British person "visit"s
someone, they go to that person's house, chat, perhaps have a cup of tea
or a snack, and then depart (I wouldn't like to place an upper bound on
the length of time that they might stay, but I think that an ordinary
"visit" is probably less than a day, whereas an "extended visit" might
be several days). However, the time length isn't important, any more
than is the tea and snacks: what seems to come across from the <Am.E>
usage of "visit with" is that the resulting conversation will be close
and intimate, and that the discussion will be about the family and
friends, and that there will be lots of reminiscing and so on and so
forth ... I realise that this is all very waffly, but am I right: that
there is an implicit closeness and intimacy associated with "visit with"
that is totally foreign to the British concept of simply "visiting" ?

Philip Taylor
Royal Holloway and Bedford New College,
``The University of London at Windsor''
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------28----
Date: Thu, 31 May 90 23:54:45 EDT
From: Julie Falsetti <JEFHC@CUNYVM>
Subject: NY speak

First of all, I am not a New Yorker and secondly, being a teacher of
ESL I have no accent :-).

Seriously, I think the change in pronunciation of 'processes' had
nothing to do with the fact that this classroom happened to be in New
York City. At least 3/4 of the students in the class were not native
speakers of English.

In most cases if a word is mispronounced, context and intonation will be
enough to clarify the meaning. Since the 'processors process the
processes' the meaning of the two is so close that a change in
pronunciation was necessary. Multi processes are fairly common, whereas
multiple CPU's are another story.

Julie in Noo Yawk