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Language usage questionnaire

There have been requests for me to post more about linguistics (no, seriously; there have), so, here are my usage-questions for you. There are no right answers in usage questions; I'm just curious. And, please, in order for this to be scientific (hah), let me know what variety of English you speak (i.e., where you learned to speak English - and try to be more specific than "America" if you wish to be useful).

1. The past tense of "dive" is:
a. dived
b. dove

2. Splitting an infinitive is:
a. Wrong wrong wrong! Bad bad bad!
b. Fine, if it makes the sentence flow better.
c. What the hell does "splitting an infinitive" mean?

3. For me (i.e., you) there is a difference in pronunciation between "which" and "witch"; and between "Wales" and "whales": True or False?

4. I sometimes pronounce the word "address" with the accent on the first syllable (AD-dress): True or False?

5. Pepsi, 7-Up, Orange Crush, root beer: collectively these are all called:
a. soda
b. pop
c. Coke
d. other (write-in)

6. Just for fun: the shibboleth question: give me the name of a town/locality near you that no outsiders can pronounce right, and try to tell us how it's really pronounced. My example: Willamette, in Oregon (name of a river among other things), is pronounced with the stress on the LAM, not the WILL. Saying WILL-a-met is the sure mark of an outsider.

Comments

maidazia
Mar. 23rd, 2003 07:10 pm (UTC)
I grew up in the midwest [Illinois] and on the east coast [Maryland].

1. The past tense of "dive" is:
b. dove

2. Splitting an infinitive is:
a. Wrong wrong wrong! Bad bad bad!

3. For me (i.e., you) there is a difference in pronunciation between "which" and "witch"; and between "Wales" and "whales": True or False?
After careful testing, I have come to the conclusion that I make a slightly different noise when saying "whales" and "which" than "Wales" and "witch". Little bit of a "whuh"

4. I sometimes pronounce the word "address" with the accent on the first syllable (AD-dress): True or False?
Both. Not in everyday speech, but when asking customers for their addresses, I tend to stress it, especially if there is a lot of background noise.

5. Pepsi, 7-Up, Orange Crush, root beer: collectively these are all called:
a. soda [when living in Maryland]
b. pop [grew up saying it this way]

6. Just for fun: the shibboleth question: give me the name of a town/locality near you that no outsiders can pronounce right, and try to tell us how it's really pronounced.
Newark. As in Newark Delaware. Not pronounced New-Erk [as in New Jersey]. Said New-Ark. Also Charleston Maryland. Said "Charles-TOWN". Yes. We're odd.