Mobile menu

Off topic: English in Canada
Thread poster: PB Trans
PB Trans

Local time: 22:41
French to English
+ ...
Jan 12, 2004

Here is an interesting article. Our English here in Canada is really a mix of our British influences and American culture (due to our proximity)... not to mention English influenced by the French language (especially in Quebec). I always say that we are "right in the middle" but these influences make us really interesting people!

*************************************

TV’s ‘Friends’ are so very influential

Canadian study says show changed language use.
The study's co-author spent a year going through transcripts of “Friends”, taking note of every single adjective.

TORONTO - The days may be so numbered for Chandler, Monica and the rest of the gang on the final season of the hit U.S. sitcom, “Friends”, but they may have left a lasting imprint on contemporary English, with their perpetual use of “so” -- as in “so cool.”

A study by researchers at the University of Toronto suggests the language used in the popular television show both reflected and influenced speaking trends.

In the report “So Cool; So Weird; So Innovative”, to be presented this weekend at the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting in Boston, linguistics professor Sali Tagliamonte and co-author Chris Roberts focused on intensifiers -- words used to emphasize a point -- and found that the language used by the TV characters not only mirrored what goes on in the real world, but actually pushes it forward.

“’So’ is the new favorite -- at least among mainstream culture,” Tagliamonte told Reuters on Thursday, adding that no study has been done on why the word is so popular.

Co-author Roberts spent a year going through transcripts from each episode of the first eight seasons of “Friends”, taking note of every single adjective for the study.

The study found Monica, Phoebe and Rachel used “so” much more frequently than Chandler, Ross or Joey, reflecting what researchers have established through previous studies: women are generally the leaders in linguistic change.

The authors also found the show’s popularity peaked at the same time the characters said “so” the most, and as the use of the word declined, so did the show’s popularity.

Intensifiers provide researchers with an ideal way to examine language trends, because they change and are cycled over time.

In the 13th century, it was “well”, which eventually gave way to “full”, which then gave way to “right” in the 15th century.

“Some old person off the beaten track in a more rural community might still say: ’Well, that’s right good’,” Tagliamonte said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3911058/


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astro Jaroslaw Rutkowski  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:41
Polish to English
+ ...
Thanks Pina Jan 12, 2004

This is soooo good.
Jerry


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 18:41
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
So interesting! Jan 12, 2004

But how could I miss noticing the frequent use of "so" in Friends???

Thanks, Pina!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Gavin Bruce  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:41
German to English
It's true Jan 12, 2004

Totally true! I noticed this phenomenon a couple of years ago, especially the use of "so" as an intensifier.

What's interesting is its use in previously non-standard ways, intensifying entire phrases as though they were adjectives, i.e. "That is so not true" or (in one episode in which they actually make fun of Chandler for his overuse of this construction), "I so don't talk like that!"


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:41
English to Russian
+ ...
how about 'like' and 'you know' :--)) Jan 13, 2004

Not with Friends, probably.. (among Friends i only "know" M. Perry) - will try to watch at least once (to listen to 'so').

But the endless '"I'm like..", "he's like.." and "you know" are SO frustrating!)


Direct link Reply with quote
 
louisajay
Spanish to English
+ ...
I love this Jan 13, 2004

“Some old person off the beaten track in a more rural community might still say: ’Well, that’s right good’,” Tagliamonte said.

He should come to the UK, it's not just old people in remote rural communities that speak that way here! "It's right good" is a very common phrase in many parts of this country, including areas of the South West, Wales and the North.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
PB Trans

Local time: 22:41
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Rural communities Jan 13, 2004

louisajay wrote:

“Some old person off the beaten track in a more rural community might still say: ’Well, that’s right good’,” Tagliamonte said.

He should come to the UK, it's not just old people in remote rural communities that speak that way here! "It's right good" is a very common phrase in many parts of this country, including areas of the South West, Wales and the North.


It's quite interesting, actually. The rural communities in Canada do not develop as fast as the urban ones and tend to keep a lot of the "old" British expressions. They are considered "old" in a Canadian context because modern culture, media, etc have a large influence on the words and expressions we use, especially American ones. The same thing happened with the French language here. I have heard people from French-speaking countries comment on the expressions used in Quebec, for example. Some of them come from very "old" French but are quite current in Quebecois.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:41
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Is there English in Toronto at all? Jan 14, 2004

I am glad to find this thread because I read a rather disturbing rant lately on Torontonian English, and I would sincerely appreciate your views.

Here it goes:

"... Canadian cities (especially Toronto, which I left behind in total disgust) are becoming more and more fragmented, because you don't really find anyone anymore that can speak English. If you stand up and say that immigrants are guests and should show some respect for their host country by learning the language, you are branded a racist or worse.
Adherents of the PC rubbish just don't want to understand that society can only work if there is a common denominator (i.e., a shared language) - if you cannot even talk to your local pharmacist or order a cup of coffee or phone your bank without resorting to body language and/or "baby talk" (observations based on personal DAILY experience in Toronto), then we have to realize that the system has already admitted defeat."

I would appreciate input from those living there as to how much truth you see in the above views?

Ildiko

[Edited at 2004-01-15 03:06]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dorota Cooper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:41
English to Polish
+ ...
So interesting Jan 17, 2004

thank you.

I would be interested in replies to the previous post, too.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

English in Canada

Advanced search






SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs