Friday, March 31, 2023
Unique to the United States, that is. And, here, it must be ubiquitous (love that word).
I need to teach my students a term which will spring into their mind when they see it and switch their brain to English. For me, my filet will switch me into French when I check out at the supermarket. The clerk may call it a bring-your-own-bag bag. You might call it a string bag. But to me it will always be a filet. I never saw one until I went to France.
It's too bad McDonalds is now found all over the world. Everyone knows "hamburger", even though pronunciation may be modified slightly. If I were teaching in New York, the hot dog might work because there are street vendors throughout Manhattan selling them to tourists (and locals, of course).
Any ideas? What invention or fad have people gone crazy over that has not yet spread to the rest of the world via social media?
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
I'm back. And I did not hear a single "New York" accent the entire time!
It might have been different if I'd been trading stocks on Wall Street or going to a meeting on Madison Avenue. But, crossing those streets as a tourist, all I heard was English spoken with a large variety of foreign accents. Will there be many, new, New York accents or will all the variations melt into one? The only cohesive, immigrant neighborhood I saw was Chinatown. All the other small ethnic delis and businesses seemed scattered around the island. However, three and a half days as a tourist is not enough to get to know a big city.
Perhaps within a generation we will have a new, amalgamated, Manhattan accent featuring words pronounced a bit more clearly, phrases slurred less, syllables given slightly more equal emphasis.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Since September, I've been creating "small talk" dialogs for in-person adult ESL classes. I've found that whether there are 2 people or 20 it's possible to create a flexible script where everyone involved can say one line, or sometimes two if they want, and keep up a pleasant babble of conversation.
I've posted the link at the bottom of the Portfolio page, for now. Here's the direct link.
This Saturday I will fly to New York with my youngest granddaughter. Back a week from tomorrow.
I'm looking forward to evesdropping on the famous New York accent. According to googled information, Manhattan is not the best place to hear that accent because most people who live there are from somewhere else. However, with any luck, Manhattan will host some New Yorkers from other boroughs visiting the sights on our "must see" list.
Mostly, we plan to have a lot of fun just walking around looking at the fancy marquees, hotels and shops if it doesn't rain (or snow). We're staying only a couple of blocks away from Central Park, where we hope to spot Flaco the Owl, the famous escapee from the Central Park Zoo.
At the top of our indoor sightseeing list are: The American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Ice Cream. Just about the only museum New York doesn't have is a museum of language. I know -- I searched!
But that kind of museum does exist in other cities. More about those places in a future blog.