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Interoppo Research
(IT Standards & Interoperability)

Linking research & learning technologies through standards » Nick Nicholas

Ἡλληνιστεύκοντος
(Greek Linguistics)

2009-10-25

New Orleans #1

My first impression of New Orleans: the airport signage is in English, Spanish, and French. A beautiful gesture; not sure whether its audience is the tuthree Quebecois who come over per year, or the Cajuns (pour raisons emblematiques).

Second impression of New Orleans: I had the choice of a cab for $33, or the New Orleans Airport Shuttle for $20. What you gotta ask yourself is, was the $13 savings worth waiting an extra 40 mins. It wasn't the most scenic airport garage I have seen, so I surmise the answer to have been no.

Third impression: the downtown skyscrapers certainly don't seem to have been flood-damaged.

Fourth impression: having heard the shuttle driver announce hotels, and the shuttle coordinator announce routes beforehand—I'm going to have serious issues with understanding the local accent:

SHUTTLE COORDINATOR: Sir? Y'awlre dahn't termnuhnl too.

ME: ....

SHUTTLE COORDINATOR: Sir?

ME: ... Yes?

SHUTTLE COORDINATOR: Sir? Follow me.

ME: ... Oh.

Good. It makes for Opɯcɯlɯklɑr Comedy Gold, that kind of thing.

Fifth impression: the hotel. I'm in love with the hotel. In fact, I felt like I was bringing down property values just by walking in there. The interior is elegant enough,

—but what really catches the eyes is the loftiness of the lobby:


This explain why the interior is full of exposed beams:

5 comments:

John Cowan said...

English and French are the de facto official languages of Lousiana (there is no de jure official language), so you'd expect signs in French. And at that there are more francophones (4.7% speak French only, 7% speak French and English) than hispanophones (2.5%, including the Isleños) in the state as a whole. Only 1% speak no English, however.

But what you heard on the shuttle wasn't the local accent, that was some kind of generic Southern, which of course plenty of Jimmy Grants from the rest of the South speak. The local Yat accent is remarkably like New York's, and is even assimilating over time to so-called General American (which doesn't exist, let me tell you) in the same kind of way.

My friend from New Orleans tells me that his grandfather (also a local) had the full-blown stereotyped pseudo-Brooklyn accent. He himself, now living in the real Brooklyn (wudda concept!), fits in almost perfectly with white natives of his age (tense-lax split of /æ/, restoration of /θ/ and /ð/, etc. etc.) -- except for one thing: he has [ɛ] > [ɪ] before nasals, just like all other Southerners. Stands out like a sore thumb. (Wikipedia tells me that African Americans in New Orleans speak Yat rather than AAVE -- it seems bizarre to think of George Jefferson and Archie Bunker with the same accent!)

Peter said...

(Wikipedia tells me that African Americans in New Orleans speak Yat rather than AAVE -- it seems bizarre to think of George Jefferson and Archie Bunker with the same accent!)

Would Americans of Western Saharan, Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian, or South African (white only) heritage also be described as "African American"?

CNN broadcast this past week the program "Latino in America" and the month before "Black in America." I can't wait for "White in America." :)

John Cowan said...

Would Americans of Western Saharan, Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian, or South African (white only) heritage also be described as "African American"?

In a word: No.

In two paragraphs:

A cocky novice once said to Stallman: "I can guess why the editor is called Emacs, but why is the justifier called Bolio?" Stallman replied forcefully, “Names are but names. 'Emack & Bolio's' is the name of a popular ice cream shop in Boston-town. Neither of these men had anything to do with the software."

His question answered, yet unanswered, the novice turned to go, but Stallman called to him, "Neither Emack nor Bolio had anything to do with the ice cream shop, either."

(This is known as the ice-cream koan.)

Peter said...

abitrary: subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion: an arbitrary designation.

Gotcha.

Interesting man, that Stallman. I had never heard of him before. Thanks for the link.

John Cowan said...

Well, that's the thing: Messrs. Emack and Bolio actually did hang out in front of the store a lot, so it's not quite arbitrary to name the place after them. The relationship between E and B and E & B's is motivated without being fully causal.

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