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November 13, 2006
See What Pirating Books Leads To?
This was on the Quote of the day list today:
"It grieves me now that I cursed them (in the matter of book piracy), because I perceived that my curse is working and that their speech is be-coming a horror already. They delude them-selves into the belief that they talk English--the English--and I have already been pitied for speaking with "an English accent." The man who pitied me spoke, so far as I was concerned, the language of thieves. And they all do. Where we put the accent forward they throw it back, and vice versa where we give the long "a" they use the short, and words so simple as to be past mistaking they pronounce somewhere up in the dome of their heads. How do these things happen?
"Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the Yankee school-marm, the cider and the salt codfish of the Eastern States, are responsible for what he calls a nasal accent. I know better. They stole books from across the water without paying for 'em, and the snort of delight was fixed in their nostrils forever by a just Providence. That is why they talk a foreign tongue to-day."
- Rudyard Kipling, in American Notes, explaining the divergence of American spoken English.
For those not up on the history: America used to be very... what's the word... "relaxed" about recognizing foreign copyrights. Much like, say, China is today. Turnabout and all that. Pretty ironic in light of the current jihad being run by the Cartel.
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