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R.I.P. London
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Rigsby Offline
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Post: #776
RE: R.I.P. London
(02-19-2019 06:23 AM)Caduceus Wrote:  
(02-13-2019 08:58 PM)Rigsby Wrote:  White people talk like blacks now, but blacks never talk like whites.

Interesting observation

Let me qualify that quote. It's a bit ambiguous, as is your unqualified comment.

I've always taken an interest in linguistics. Now, linguistics is an absolutely massive field, from comparative linguistics to sociolinguistics, dialectology, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, and structural linguistics.

(The italics is directly quoted from wikipedia coz I couldn't remember them all [except for the comparative branch])

In a way, linguistics is kind of like philosophy, because it relates to language and human thought it can be applied to just about any field, and it is, not least the computing field. I can program in several languages (badly) so I have an understanding of syntax and grammar. But I do like comparative linguistics, studying the 'etymology' of words (but I repeat myself), and also the sub-branch of phonetics.

Etymology fascinates me because it is kind of parallel to the field of comparative linguistics. One is interested in the history and meaning of words and the other is interested in the history and meaning of languages and how they compare to each other, respectively.

As for phonetics, did you know when a baby is born it can pronounce every single language on the planet ever invented? A new born baby can speak Welsh, Russian, French, English, Indian. But as it 'learns' to speak, what it's doing is not really adding to its repertoire, it's sculpting away at it, cutting out the bits it doesn't need. Hence why English people make fun of Welsh words. And why P-Celtic and Q-Celtic aren't exactly the same.

Irish and Scottish form the Goidelic languages, while Welsh and Breton are Brittonic. Beyond that there is no agreement on the subdivisions of the Celtic language family They may be divided into and Continental group and Insular group, or else into P-Celtic and Q-Celtic.

I can even spot Ulster Scots. There are people in Norn Iron (Northern Ireland) that talk with an almost Scottish accent (coz it is).

I am very interested in dialects and accents obviously.

More than interested, absolutely fascinated.

My mother tongue contains words that English people can not pronounce. But I am British, from the 'UK'. I speak my mother tongue very badly, but I can pronounce it pretty good and read it well enough to pronounce it. Hardly surprising really. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I got whisked off to a desert island when I was a young child and my native language studies would have to wait. Here I came across people, thousands of miles away, that knew very well how to pronounce all those words that sound as if you are hacking up or spitting. Even though the English only a few miles away from me wouldn't have been able to if you put a gun to their head.

So, from an early age I was bilingual (badly, just like my programming ability, but still). And then exposed to other languages and accents. Over 50 languages taught in the American international school I went to, but safe to say, English was the 'lingua franca'.

Now, this doesn't really make me any more qualified to comment on the shifting patterns of speech in London towards the end of the 20th Century going in to the 21st Century, any more than I am qualified to 'diagnose' everyone I don't like as a narcissist.

I was merely making a personal observation. It was short and gruff and to the point. And possibly open to being misconstrued by those with a thin skin.

I was generalising of course. We all do it. I'm the biggest culprit of all.

So, let's just take a moment to recap on that quote:

White people talk like blacks now, but blacks never talk like whites.

Just to play along, I haven't re-read my original post. I don't even remember it. I was probably drunk or had a lot going on or possibly both. I'll check it later, because for now I just want to respond to that one selective piece of 'information'. Perhaps the two will tally up. Perhaps I'll end up contradicting myself. Let's see.

My first LTR black girlfriend (Londoner born and bread) who was of Jamaican descent (both mum and dad), had the most cut-glass almost upper class accent you have ever heard. It was funny. She could do 'posh' better than posh people can do 'posh'. She loved playing games with people on the phone because they would almost never mark her out as being black, as she certainly did not talk 'black' wtf that means.

All in good spirits of course.

"Oh, you don't sound 'black'". She would just giggle and never take offense. None of that shitty attitude of "So wat do bluk sound lark bloodclat". I'm going to embarrass myself here with my written phonetic interpretations of various languages, so keep with me.

But she could talk like dat if she wanted. She could also do a mean African impersonation, or rather 'BuBu' as the Afro-Caribbeans were wont to call Africans at that time. It was a whole sub-culture and I'm sharing real etymology here.

One example? They used to call what we now know as 'twerking' as 'bogling'. Not 'boggling' but more boh, glingh. Ya get me? Safe!

I know another black lady (no idea where she comes from) who is married to a company director. I used to babysit their kids with my girlfriend from Oz at the time (more on her later). She also had the most snooty accent you have ever heard in your life. No big deal.

There's a Dutch lady called Petra on youtube who is also very much black and she also speaks like the Queen of England. Go figure!

And not too long back I was talking myself to a very well-spoken possibly upper-class lady who turned out not only not to be white, but from bleeding Uganda!

[Image: y9mgersLoFJPt-sRy9hReoXW9xpSaGwWBC1X3O-J...0e22a20932]

I get it. Not everyone speaks the same if they happen to have a certain colour skin, and not everyone speaks the same even if they come from the same city. Class and parental background play a part. Shame and aspirations.

And while these ladies were very cut-glass, I could tell that they were not upper-class at all through their usage of certain words that would leave any credible 'toff' cringing. One simply does not say "The Hoi polloi", it's "Hoi polloi" dahling! But let's not digress too far in to the finer branches of linguistics. When talking to a true 'toff' on matters of equestrianism, for example, once must know the proper 'meaning' of the word 'smart' as it relates to a jacket or a pair of boots!

My girlfriend at the time was not trying to be something she wasn't, she wasn't being a phoney. She was just utilising a methodology that worked for her and for her customers to her boutique in Covent Garden.

She would take the piss out of everyone including herself and other black people. She didn't have a chip on her shoulder. She was a free spirit. I don't know about those other ladies. Perhaps they have an ulterior motive to speak 'well'. I don't think it hurts. Just be true to yourself and you'll be ok.

Talking of which, have you ever met those people that have lived in a foreign country for 30 years and still have the 'accent' they landed with? I've got a friend from Glasgow in London and I can't understand a fucking word he says. Practically need sign language. I just nod and agree. He's been there 20 years as well.

Some people pick up accents in days, others never in a whole life time.

Talking of needing sign language. I had some Jamaican friends and I also could not understand a fucking word they were saying. They were talking in Pidgin to all intents and purposes. Look up Pidgin in Linguistics. Fascinating. Even the BBC now present their news in Pidgin for those that 'speak' it.

Just because you start mimicking the local population and how they speak does not make you weak. We all do it. To a greater or lesser extent. That's a fact. Linguistics teaches us this.

Some do it to ingratiate themselves. Some do it out of fear and to protect themselves from violence. Some do it to pull a con on someone. Many such reasons. Not sad.

Now back to my bold assertion of White people talk like blacks now, but blacks never talk like whites.

I was talking more about the younger generation. I assume that was obvious. Maybe it wasn't. All languages change and both accents and dialects shift. Some even die out.

Black culture is the dominant culture in London if you didn't know. White boys don't listen to country and western any more and the black boys never did. The white boys listen to hip-hop, drum and bass and all their new fangled variations. Trap, grime, I'm old and don't care, it's all rock and roll to me!

In fact the other day I listened to a white kid blast past me on his bike playing the deepest dirtiest hip-hop - 9 years old blasting out his trap! I've seen and heard kids younger listening to pharell and whatnot. White kids listen to black music. Black kids don't listen to white music.

And I don't even live in London anymore. I'm in the deepest darkest countryside now.

Just an observation, and a generalisation. Don't shoot me.

And so it is in London. Black kids and white kids are brothers now. They will not tolerate any racism. Well, at least in the better parts. Some places we have self imposed apartheid. But the kids we knew all mixed perfectly well in to one dominant culture. Mainly black.

It's how it is. I'll save it for another day to critique the finer anthropological implications of it. But when I was teaching 'the kids' how to program hip-hop and 'jungle' there were Turks and Blacks and Whites, and racism was worse than cancer if they thought you suffered from it.

That was the melting pot. It's evolved from there again and it hasn't gotten better as far as I can see. That wasn't ideal, but it was workable and looked like it might go somewhere in a generation. But it didn't. It just gave rise to depressing 'grime' with kids who wallow in their own shit the way pigs do, and love it. But I said I wasn't going to 'go there'. I'll leave it at that for now.

In the meantime, whole other sub-cultures wiped out while demographics reign supreme.

Maybe not wiped out, but dying a slow painful death. I'll give a good example:

The Cockney accent.

Yeah, I know that Northerners hate shandy-drinking southern poofters and especially fucking cockneys. But I'm not judging, I'm observing.

You won't hear a cockney accent in London today. Rarely. Even now. You need to go to home counties Essex and Kent to get a real 'cor blimey' guv'nor!

One thing that is so amazing about that whole 'white flight' thing is that the cockney accent has kind of been preserved in a way. People from a 50 mile radius all take the same practically indistinguishable 'dialect'.

That's unheard of where I come from. Go 3 miles down the road and you can tell people aren't of 'your kind'. Go 5 miles and it's war!. I can pretty much 90 percent tell when someone comes from either the north or the south of my country. I can prettty much tell with almost 70 percent accuracy exactly what region they are from. And if they are from the two main cities that jump up to almost a 100 percent. Damn, I'm good!

And what's more, I can even tell an Aussie accent from a Kiwi accent, when most the people I've met from there have admitted that even they can't. I can tell an American from a Canadian as well, again when the natives tell me even they have trouble themselves.

Because I take an interest in accents and dialects, linguistics if you like!

I always ask where people come from. I'm cheeky.

Because you can always tell an Aussie 'Strine' accent - they talk through their noses! Try it! Pinch your nose for me and say "G'day mate!" - don't be shy - no one's looking! See what I mean.

I even know the differences in vowel substitution as it pertains to both the Australians and the New Zealanders. "This is not a tist".

And what that has in common with South Africans, many miles away. The Kiwi accent has inflections and mannerisms that are more in common with Saffas than Aussies. They both take a 'tist'. But it's rare an Aussie does. It's still 'test'. Funny ah?

But hey, who am I to say that:

White people talk like blacks now, but blacks never talk like whites.

But sometimes I get it wrong. Very very wrong. Mistaking South American accents for Germans. Venezualans can sound as if they are from anywhere. And Eastern European women always lie to you about where they come from so they all just sound as if they might as well come from Poland. Which, correct me if I'm wrong (I know some of you have lived there :-)) but they have a very wide range of dialects too.

When I meet up with people from all over the world at secret hacker conventions, some of the most popular and in demand people are the ones that speak seven languages and who can 'translate'. They can't create a line of code. But they are still working in language and debugging it and parsing it. They earn more than a lot of the coders as well. Nice flats, nice lifestyle.

But yeah, London.

That cockney accent is dying out, and it's a shame, because with it goes a whole people, love them or hate them, like them or loathe them. They do sound a bit false, but you'd be surprised how salt of the earth many of them are. Down to earth and unpretentious. Almost disappeared now.

I talked to one the other day on the phone. I got a serious fucking boner! Real potty mouthed common chav tart. Called 'Chanel' - fucking top that motherfuckers! You can't!

I almost came when she said (in a very strong cockney accent):

"Yeah, Chanel, as in the handbag".

No airs or graces.


"Yeah, Chanel, as in the French design house".

I bet she'd fuck you right off the rails! Dirty little tart. I wouldn't have even cared if she was a four-eyed fatty. In fact, I would have relished it! (within reason - ham planets need not apply)

More, more, I want more Chanel! As in the handbag!

(Did you know that the word 'handbag' in Pidgin Jamaican means 'Pussy' - "me harndbargh"?)

But I can't get it, because it's all getting less less less.

The 'Chanel' types of this world are going the way of the Dodo.

When she dies her children will not speak like that. No one will speak like that. And we'll all be left to laugh at Dick van Dyke in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and his 'mad props' appropriation(mis) of that particular vernacular.

And the crazy thing is I don't even have a fetish for that kind of accent. It's just that it was so genuine - it's not something you can fake (see Dick van Dyke in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

Now the vernacular in London is some kind of strange bastardisation of Cockney, Middle-Class received pronounciation and fucking Pidgin English.

Just give me the snooty posh accent. Or give me the 'no-accent' bland received pronounciation. Or give me 'Cor Blimey Apples and Pears' Cockney. Please, just not this ungodly amalgamation that uproots us all.

But I get it. Accents change. It's part and parcel of living in any big city along with tube train and bus bombs.

If my exgirlfriend of Jamaican descent would have talked in a "Yes I, rasta, Ital" fashion, people would have laughed. Especially as she had dreadlocks. But it was better that she spoke posh English. It suited her and her personality. She wasn't trying to fit in and be one of the crowd. Other black people still called her a bumbaclat Coconut though for just getting along with the people in the country she grew up with without a fucking chip on her shoulder.

Remember, people change their accents for many reasons. And one of them is so you don't get the shit beaten out of you. Pretty good reason. No one adopts a 'Jafaican' accent to get ahead in life. But if it saves you grief? Hierarchy of needs.

I love the Jamaican accent. All the women I talk to in Kingston have a very distinct Jamaican voice, but are very clear and concise. I can understand them absolutely perfectly. Even some of the women in Ghana I talk to have excellent English pronounciation. But they still got that 'BuBu' accent as my ex would call it.

I understand the pressure kids are under in London today, but I'm losing sympathy with them. Yeah we get it. You need to fit in. You need to carry a knife. You need to talk like you only have 5 brain cells. And this affects the black kids as much as the whites. Even they have tall poppy culture or crabs in a bucket culture.

(If your mum is from Ghana, wear it. Loud and proud. BuBu!
If you come from yard, tark like you come from 'pon de yard!
If you come from Yorkshire, preserve that.
Then put it in the pot. And see what comes out.)

Don't look too good or talk too wise.

Did you know that IF is the middle word in LIFE, man!

White people talk like blacks now, but blacks never talk like whites.

That was one hell of a generalisation to make. But generally I still stand by it. For younger generations any way. Where it was wrong, I've refuted my own argument and given examples to show in which way it was wrong.

Hell, I'm still probably wrong.

Where the fuck is Noam Chomsky when you need him, eh lads?

I did try talking about all this shit with some guy I met down the pub, but he just punched me in the face, so I didn't bother him after that.

I can't find the video of Gene Hunt saying that he 'once punched a bloke because he spoke French to him', so I'll just leave this here:

Yes I.
03-22-2019 08:23 PM
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