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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.


Mar. 23rd, 2003 08:28 pm (UTC)
I come from New Zealand.
My own family are originally from England and Norway, and while the typical NZ accent sounds similar to Australian but softer spoken, rounder vowels and not nasal (if they say the word Six, it sounds like 'sex' wheras we say it the way the english and Americans do), I don't speak like most kiwis and have a much more English sounding accent. It doesn't fool any British folks, but it definitely confuses kiwis ;)

1. dove

2. understandable considering how many people don't know what one is..

3. True. I come from an English (as in from England) family and we pronounce all 'wh' words significantly different than 'w' words. But most kiwis do pronounce wh as a hard w.

4. True - but I'm not American, we speak entirely differently to you guys.

5. Fizzy Drink, or we refer to these drinks by their actual names - cola, lemonade, sparkling orange etc (we don't have rootbeer or orange crush)

6. Pupuke. Pronounced Poo-pookie it causes endless problems for anyone not from NZ. Also Whangaparaoa (fonga-pa-rower), Ngaruawahia (narru-wahee-ah), and Paraparaumu (correctly pronounced Para-para-ooh-moo, the locals just say para-param). Actually, outsiders have problems with just about any Maori place name here.

7. um, what's a shibboleth?
Mar. 23rd, 2003 08:41 pm (UTC)
ooh, and we call fizz drink 'softdrink' as well. Sorry, I forgot about it until one of your other respondants wrote it :)
Apr. 15th, 2003 01:54 am (UTC)
fush und chups fuh fufty cents!

Ahaha. I'm aussie. That was like.. Our favourite thing to say to kiwis, as a child XD