Tuesday, 13 May 2014

An American flavor to Spring!!!

May is here and the weather is beginning to look up at last. The hills are verdant and the swallows and storks have returned and I was reminded of two poems my dad taught me which I will pass on to you. There are a lot of differences between British and American English, in grammar, spelling, (The latter of which is more logical in American English thanks to Weber's Standardisation) and accent. Accent is something that isn't really taught these days so long as 'pronunciation doesn't impair comprehension', neither is it talked about although it is one of the things that makes a language rich. So FYI the first poem highlights one regional American accent: The Bronx.

ee Cummings or Ogden Nash or Anon
(Depending on who you ask!)
Spring has sprung,
the grass has ris,
I wonder where all the boidies is?
They's on the wing,
but that's absoid,
the wings is on the little boid!

boid = bird
absoid = absurd

You can probably spot the grammatical errors here (there are 4) - I hope you can anyway! They are representative of the very distinct Bronx accent. (I have seen many longer versions but this is what I learnt as a kid!) 
The Bronx is a suburb of New York City
'Twas springtime in the Rockies
and the snow was raining fast,
when a barefooted girl with shoes on
came slowly running past.
She turned straight round a corner,
to see a dead donkey die,
took out a pistol to stab it
and got kicked in the eye. 
This is a poem of contradictions - when one thing is the opposite of the other and cancels it out. Can you  find 6? This apparently isn't even an American poem but something to do with the Welsh infantry! The Rocky Mountains are in the U.S. at least!

The Rocky Mountains, U.S.A.