English, the Once and Future Language: (was) Hi-Low, or Art for Money(Was)Steve

From: QueeneMUSE@aol.com
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 10:30:01 MDT

In a message dated 7/28/2000 8:39:49 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
retroman@turbont.net writes:

> Ok. THough I'm sure talking Valley Girl in Elizabethan England would have
> gotten
> you some stares of confusion and fear...

FIrst of all, Valley girls aren't English. If you go to Oxford or the Outer
Hebrides and speak Valley you'll get those same stares of confusion today. I
have a really hard time understanding Belfastians, Welsh, and Scottish. When
I was in Scotland it took me weeks before it was clear, and even then in
small northern towns I often didn't recognize the words, even though they
were English, not Gaelic.

Why? Has anyone every heard of the 'great vowel shift?'

It happened some time in the middle ages, we moved our vowel sounds up to the
soft pallette area -- before that all the vowel sounds were gutteral (back of
the throat) sounds. Only in certain parts of England and Scotland do those
same sounds still exist.

Old English, if you pronounced it correctly, is also ununderstandable to us
of course.

The English language constantly evolves. Today what we have is not language
degrading, but people's thought processes getting lazy.

Like, um.. you know, it's.. uh.. kinda, uh... like, well, you know.. the
thing being...

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