Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership, the following podcast contains explicit language and.

S2: From New York City, this is Lexicon Valley, a podcast about language. I’m John McWhorter. And, you know, people keep asking me about something and I’m going to give you the answer in this show, because this one comes in a lot. It sometimes takes me a while to realize how often I’ve been asked about something. But if this many people want to know, then I have to give you what you want. And you know what people keep asking me about. Colonel, why is the word colonel spelled so very, very badly? Well, you know, you’re going to get what you want, but are you sure you want to know? Are you confident, dry and secure, that you want to know? I’m using this to bring on my very favorite commercial jingle. I’ve used this once before, but let’s start out with the most triumphant, wonderful song. This is the 1970s and 1980s commercial for sure, deodorant, which I do not use. But what a song. Raise your hand. You got it.

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S3: Raise your hand. You know it. You feel confident. Secure. Raise your hand if you feel right now, you know, why now?

S2: You got it. That sure, secure, confident feeling, because it sure gives you enough protection to help you drive over a. Sure, I do use deodorant, I highly recommend Mitchem sure, frankly, actually isn’t very good, but what a song they had at the time. In any case, this kernel business, the problem with kernel is that I completely understand why somebody would want to know why that word that looks like cologne all on the page is pronounced col as in a kernel of corn. But the thing is, as you can imagine, I can’t do a whole show about Colonel, or if I tried it would be something rather Faust’s kind of like doing a whole show about the word Y, so instead of doing a whole show about it, it occurred to me that Colonel is actually not unique. There’s something about terms for military titles that tends to be a little messy, their little stories with actually most of those words. So let’s do a show on of all things, given that the military in general is not exactly my bag. Let’s do a show about military terms. What do I mean by these military terms? Well, you know, of course, we have to go to the wonderful Four Seasons in the 1950s of the Bilko show with Phil Silvers, where you’ve got these guys who are in the army and you hear these terms all the time. So, for example, listen to this little clip of this one scene where you hear three of them practically in a row. Sergeant Bilko, thank heavens I found you. I think we have a mutiny on our talk about that. And that’s not part of the colonel. Wait a minute. Come in here. I want to hear what this is about in a minute. I kind of want to hear what this is about. Sergeant Corporal Guignol, all three of those. What about those words? There’s a story actually in all three of those words and more, because this episode is inspired by this word. Colonel, let’s do it. What is it with Colonel? So on the page, Colonial. And yet you have to learn that it’s Colonel. Can you imagine coming to English as a foreigner and having to learn that absolutely ridiculous example? Originally, the word was Colonel, because we get it from the French word colonies. That’s the way it was pronounced in French. And it’s one of the many words that we took from them. So there was a time when you said, Colonel, actually, Kornel, and you wrote it that way. So, for example, Death on the Nile, the film 1978. Listen to how Peter Ustinov and his Hercule Poirot role addresses David Niven as a colonel. Listen to him. You told me yourself that Madame left the observation saloon a little before for a living forty five to go to bed. So that’s the French way. Why don’t we spell it Coronel the way we should? Well, you know, the problem was that starting in the thirteen hundreds and extending for about 200 years after that, there are these people and their names are lost to the ages. But there were these very persnickety people who decided that the way English spelled things had to reflect where the words came from. And so we have a great many words that are spelled wrong, so to speak, because of people thinking that that was some sort of progressivism. And so French has Coronel, but the original word was Kolon Colonial, and that was from Italian and that was from columnar in Latin. It was about a column as for example, its time went on columns of soldiers. And so it’s columnar and then colonial. Well, French changed the L to an R as will happen. So most of us are familiar with how hard it is for people who speak East Asian languages to often master the difference between L and R, and it’s because Allanah are really variations on the same thing. For a language to distinguish low from Russia is actually kind of cruel and therefore it’s common in languages worldwide for the elder becomes R for the R to become L. So in French colony Le became Koven. OK, perfectly natural. And then we took it as what we now say is colonel. But the spelling had this l jammed in out of this sense that that’s what it quote unquote really is, because Latin apparently really is, even though now it really is dead. And it was then really. But here we are and we just have to spell it that way because we’re used to it. So that is the story with Colonel. And that’s not a unique story. You see this again and again. Think about soldier. Soldier is one where it’s a very similar story, but it actually affected the way we actually say the damn word. And so, for example, soldier that goes back to Latin soul, Dariusz and Soul Dariusz went back to soldiers, which in Latin meant a kind of coin. So a soul Daria’s is somebody who has pay, i.e. a soldier if you know any Italian. So non Alwis oldy, I don’t have the money. That’s because Italian is carrying right on from that Latin term. So a soul. Daria’s is some. Who has gotten pay so Latin becomes old French and old French has it as so dear? OK, and eventually so but so dear old friend starts pouring way too many of its words into poor English and so, so dear, we bring it in. And so we have this word so dear, so dear. So somebody, you know, marching around with eventually a gun that is so dear. Now if you say so dear enough, if you must then it’s going to become SOJA. So did you eat Deji Geet. So are you a soldier or are you a soldier? Soldier. Soldier, that’s the word. So we really should be talking about soldiers in the army. That’s a perfectly plausible word. But some jackass decided that the word had to have that. L stuck back into it because it started as sold. Arius So that person did it and then probably died of some vermin or something like that. But now here we are and we don’t even say soldier, but then spell it with the L in that way that we do with Colonel in spelling it with the L.. We actually learn to say soldier because it’s sitting in there. And so you think, well, if I say soldier, I must be saying it wrong. And there’s such a short distance between soldier and soldier that people decide it. Well, it must be a soldier in the same way as we look at something like often and we say it must be often because there’s that T sitting in there, despite the fact that nobody says that they’re going to whistle a happy tune was I was telling no. But we have to say often supposedly that spelling will fuck you up, folks. I’m sorry. And so soldier is wrong, you know, I wouldn’t be caught dead saying, soldier, you’re just not allowed. But that is an arbitrariness. It’s not based on natural development. It’s not based on what we value so much, which is letting it all hang out. And then there’s another example like that. It’s the good old corporal. That word Corporal starts as Latin’s Corpus and Corpus meant body. But that word had many fates. And so if you’re talking about a body of the army and that word goes into French, then after a while you’ve got Frenches word course that then becomes core and rather late in the game, English borrowed core from French. Seventeen hundreds probably. And so we have a core as in an Army Corps. But the thing is core in French before had been coarse. So you have corpus then of course then core. Well at one time its course and English often would borrow a French word at different stages. So there was a course and we borrowed that too. But at the course stage in French it meant two things a body of soldiers, but it also meant a dead body. That’s how the meaning had evolved. And so you could have a course now under ordinary conditions, that would mean that we would have a difference between a core as in a military core, and then you would go to certain places and see laid out a course. But no, no, here comes jackass again. You’ve got to put that P in because the original word was corpus. You have to remind people writing English that the language has a relationship, although frankly indirect with Latin and Latin was important because people wore Vine’s around their heads and proclaimed things. And so next thing you know, the idea is that it’s not coarse but korps and that probably you should say it that way. Therefore, a military corps and then a dead body is a corpse. And then, of course, we have to borrow that. Of course. Of course we have to borrow that word again. And so we have a corpus as in a body of work. So next thing you know, you’ve got Latin preserved perfectly as corpus, a body of work, Latin preserved artificially as corpse, and that means a dead body and then Latin as it naturally developed in French and to core. And that means something like the Peace Corps. And then you have Corporal, which just basically nods at all of these things. But Corporal starts as what in Latin meant, a torso. Now, you know, this isn’t also insane if you bend over backwards. I mean, for example, there are people who say that we need spelling reform. But even if we do it, the word no as and to no effect should keep the K. The K is hopelessly on pronounce. But the idea is that we’re supposed to keep the K so that we can see that there’s a relationship between knowing a fact and acknowledging as in indicating one’s knowing. And so if acknowledge has the K still in there and it’s still pronounced, then we have to spell no words no in order to indicate the relationship. Now, for those of you who understand how silly it is that that P was stuck back into Korps. Well, maybe those same of you might not see such folly in the idea of keeping the cap on, no, partly because that’s the way we’ve always seen the world. There’s a part of me that wishes that we spelled no isn’t a. a fact as a.. That would make perfect sense. And nobody would ever be under any question as to which no. Was meant that no, no. Or the. No, no, no, no. Or what happened so seldom that it would be worth the change. But still, I must add that we are all aesthetic creatures. I’m used to that k I think it’s kind of cute. I think all of us are vaguely proud of ourselves that we’ve learned to put the K on words like knee and knife and know even though it’s not pronounced, we feel like well yeah I do feel that way to an extent. So you know, I don’t know, I don’t know. Or for example, should shoulder would, would and could cold called ls the L and could is inserted. That’s not there, there’s no reason for it in wood. And should it make sense in could the L is only there because somebody felt that well it’s related to wood and should and it’s meaning they should be a nice little line of three ducks in a row and so it has to be called and sold. It just felt kind of right. And you know what doesn’t it doesn’t it kind of seem like the L should be in there because they’re all pronounced the same now. So if it’s wood with an owl and should with an owl, well, either we’re going to take the owls out or maybe two rules over the one. And you have the called once again. I would like to spell could in some other way, although notice. What would that be? What letter do you use? Because we’re not going to invent any new letters. What letter do you use for the the choices to be made. Say that it’s. Oh as in good. But don’t forget that. Oh also is all in words like fool as in these people back in the Middle Ages who screwed up our spelling system. So is could going to be C, D and then there’s going to be some little kid who’s trying to learn to read. I have to Daddy. What’s called. Well you have to tell them no it’s good. And then they say, well, and then you listen to the last episode of this show. But the thing is, these can be arbitrary things. And let’s face it, what you grow up with is what you kind of like. So I’m trying here because really English spelling is a barbarity, but these are some of the ways that it happens. And these military terms are really a fertile ground for that sort of thing. It is time for a clip. And, you know, I’m going to inflict something on you. This is a song that is really one of my top ten old songs I rarely inflicted on anybody because I don’t expect anybody else to feel this way. This is Harry Warren and Al Dubin. They are writing for the movie musical series that was kicked off by 40 Second Street. Then there’s Gold Diggers of 1933. Some of you probably like those movies. And as you can imagine, they’re a standard five or six that make it into the box sets, etc. But then for every one of those, there are another couple that were in the series that nobody needs to ever see again unless they’re insane. One of them was a 1935 and it was called Shipmates Forever. I don’t recommend it, but it did have this song. I’d love to take orders from you. This is the same two guys who wrote Forty Second Street and We’re in the money. And, you know, there were various versions recorded. This is really digging in the crates. This is Al Jolson on his radio show of the time. And we’re in 1935. This is early old radio. Old radio from the 30s is rare and it tends to be in really shitty sound. And that is definitely the case here. But it’s clear enough this is Al Jolson singing 85 years ago. But to me, this is the definitive version of this wonderful song. Nobody nailed what I think Warren and Duban meant as much as he did. So it’s going to be a little. But this is Al Jolson. Eighty five years ago singing I’d love to take orders from you on the radio on.

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S4: You and I have through through I to take orders from you. I know that one of. That’s one thing I have learned, but I’m going in fact, that’s when I got that’s what I I’ll do. I didn’t have to take on.

S2: So how about another one? Bilko, Bilko is Sergeant Bilko. Sergeant Wise. And it’s insurgent. Why is it, Sergeant, you just kind of know but shouldn’t be Seargent but then again, imagine somebody over across the pond and they’re going to ask something like, Mummy, we say, Clark, why do some people say Clark, lady? Americans say Clark. And that’s a good question. And it’s because Clark became Clark. There’s that alternation and you see it in various words, no show music fans. I’m not about to play Zipp from Pal Joey with that rhyme. That song does not appeal to people other than us in our little sorority fraternity. So not that one. But Clark and Clark, what about the word varsity? Think about varsity. If you ever notice that there’s university and varsity and that they must have a relationship. And that relationship is that you could say university. And there were some people who did. And then there some people talk about diversity. So it’s that same alternation that starts over here and you never know just where things are going to settle. And so what did start out as Seargent became sergeant over there and that completely washed out. And so we have the word here and we say, Sergeant instead of Seargent. And it makes just as much sense as talking about the varsity show as opposed to the versity. So which we don’t quite want, even though the word is university, you have to play the theme song. I know I just did a song, but the Sergeant Bilko theme song is very short. This is the syndicated version. But I just have to I’ve seen every episode of Bilko. I recommend it. It holds up. This is the little the little song. OK, so Sergeant, what about, Lieutenant, talk about over there, if you ever noticed in movies where people are British that a lot of people say, Lieutenant, why left Tenet? It isn’t spelled that way and it shouldn’t be. What is the what’s the F? And, you know, nobody is exactly sure. But the closest thing to truth would seem to be that it’s from French lawyer and that’s place. And then to not holding. Blair is unfortunately spelled l i e you. OK, so let’s say that you know that it’s spelled Leutner and OK, well it might have been that people said you tenent and then you notice you’re making the kind of kissy sound and your teeth are coming in and so you’ve tenent and then VA and fur are variations on the same thing so that maybe somebody would have started saying lt lt lt over time nobody quite knows. But it’s not a completely insane story because there’s a kind of a synergy between you and VA in that. For example, think about on signs in ancient Rome, think about on columns and things where Julius Caesar is spelled differently. We’ll see where the V is. Are you. Well, it used to be that what we see as a V was pronounced you. It wasn’t pronounced, it was Juliusz. And it used to be that you had these issues and the V was pronounced as oh, so we see via for road and Latin for them it would have been WIA. That’s how they would have set it. And you know, w but a W is what we would think of as w v that’s because that symbol meant you. But think about WIA. If you say we are enough you might start saying we’re, we’re, it’s that in between B and V that you learn about and never quite get in Spanish unless you’re a native. So via Reia and then via at the beginning of words. So after a while the V means both u its original meaning that it also means verb. So in other words, there’s a kind of a relationship there. You know, it’s funny little stories like that about how we get our letters. Somebody ought to do a great courses set about that. Somebody ought to do it soon and then somebody ought to be signing a contract to do that soon as if they don’t have enough to do. Just saying somebody ought to do a teaching course said about the history of writing and the alphabet. But that is maybe why you Tenent became LT and then lt. It’s a funny thing. It’s one of those mysteries. How about ADM? You never know where ADM comes from. You know what? That’s from us. From Arabic. ADM is from the Arabic word for military commander, which is OMEIR. And so there were these interactions between European and Muslim sailors in the Mediterranean and they had their amirs. And based on the hybridity of the time, after a while, Europeans were talking about admirals. So that’s where that comes from. So we have some words from Arabic like alcohol and algebra, where Al is the definite article. You wouldn’t know that Admiral is one of those words. And it means that you have this business of what we call doublets or say triplets. So Core Korps and Corpus. Well, in our case we have Admiral. And then if you think of Emir, it’s an English word, Emir, is that same word as OMEIR or here is a real doublet. So what about cavalry? Never like that word. I don’t want to say cavalry. I want to say Calvary. But it’s not the same thing. Same thing with Ravelry. I don’t want to say that at all. I don’t like the little or Ravelry. It’s annoying that words just be eliminated and we should be able to say the Calvary, which some people do. And I can completely understand why we don’t want an hour and an hour next to each other for that reason. It’s because they’re really the same thing and you have to make too much differentiation. And life is hard enough already. We’re always being told to differentiate things. That means being intelligent. But cavalry, no, it should be Calvary or we just shouldn’t have to say it at all. That’s my two cents. But cavalry comes from a word for horse Cavallari like Cavalleria Rusticana, the opera.

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S5: So we’re talking about Italian and that word goes back to Latin’s Cavallo’s, which means horse. So we’re talking about horsemen and we get it from French by way of Italian. The French really liked for a while borrowing their military words from Italian. And so that’s the colonial love that ends up becoming Coronel. Same thing here. And so we have that word. But, you know, actually. Chivalry is the same word as cavalry, civil rethink of French civil and so chivalry also comes from horse. You can see that association between chivalry and horses because of knights and the way they rode horses and they were up there high. And so cavalry and chivalry are us borrowing basically from Latin by way of Italian and French twice. So we have two rather different words. Chivalry is quite different from cavalry. What they have in common is being annoying to pronounce. So chivalry, you want to say chivalry or something? These things are really something. So for example, a February soldier in the cavalry really should be a federal soldier in the Calvary.

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S2: But we just can’t say that. And, you know, it’s funny, with Cabarlah actually in Latin, Caballes is like a shit horse. It’s like a nag. EQUASS is like a real kind of horse. But Cabarlah is like horse and it’s interesting. Words can go either way. A word can start meaning and then come to mean when when, for example, awful used to mean what we now express is awesome. So a castle was awful or artificial, you would say, oh, it’s so artificial. And what you meant was that it was very well artifice, that it was very neatly created, that it was fancy. There’s a story that people tell about King James, the second saying that about St Paul’s Cathedral when he saw it. It’s not true. That story has been attributed to everybody from King James, the second to like Gerald Ford. It clearly isn’t true. But those words did used to mean very positive things. But now awful refers to the current fill in the blank and artificial means that something is fake. That is not what somebody would have meant four hundred years ago. This is also the sort of thing that makes Shakespeare difficult. That’s a different rant, but words can also start negative and come to mean positive things. So, for example, think of funk. Funk technically refers to stink or what somebody might call stank. But Funk has come to really mean something positive and not just in terms of the music, but in general. Whatever you referring to with funk, you’re probably thinking of it as a good thing. The idea that it primarily refers to the smell of roughly a diaper, except it’s probably something a grown up was responsible for, or that it represents the smell of an armpit that’s becoming actually the other definition. Or one might even say that one enjoys the smell of an armpit. This is probably going to far. We just leave it out. But funk starts out meaning like PUE and now it means good music. It means authenticity. It has taken on a positive connotation. Well, same thing with Cabarlah. Kabbalah is a horse with a suede bag and it’s spitting green cud or something like that. And now we have these words that mean very dignified things such as Calvary and Churi based on this word that people who spoke Latin would have thought of as the word for nag as in crappy horse. What about semen? It’s so Benny Hill. I’ve been watching old Benny Hill episodes these days and he would have said that Saiman and then sat there and looked at the audience and waited laughs. What about semen? And I don’t mean what I mean is SCCA man, what about semen? There’s an interesting story in semen too, because see, as an SCA, that’s one of those Germanic orphan words. You find it in English and in our Germanic pals like German and Swedish and such, but not otherwise. It’s not a general European word, if you think about it, if you’ve learned other European languages, noticed that you let go of of C, because the real word for things like that is supposed to be things like mare, like love. And so Mare is a sea, the thing that has whales in it. But Germanic is funny with things like that. Germanic has this C word, nobody else really does. But then Germanic also has mare. But where it uses C and Mare, it’s clear that in Germanic languages neither one of those is supposed to be the big giant ocean. It’s just that their bodies of water, there’s no distinction of C from Lake. So in German, something that you might kind of let pass because you just think that, well, we’re not in English. Is that A they’re equivalent of C is often small, like the Zilber Ze the silver. It’s not a C, it’s it’s a big lake, from what I can tell. And there are lots of zaid’s there where you think, oh, we’re going to see the sea and then you realize, well wait a minute, we’re in Germany, we’re inland. How big is it going to be. It’s a lake, but that’s what they can mean. Old English had. And modern English supposedly has, because we can preserve every word on paper and pretend it’s still alive, we supposedly still have a word, Mayor Mir, and that is our major word. Of course, you’ve never heard it, but if you did use it, as some few people apparently do, it means pond. It doesn’t mean the thing that has giant squid in it. So there’s an interesting hypothesis. The reason that Germanic languages don’t seem to care about the ocean is because the nature of the Baltic region where these languages are supposed to have emerged and so Germanic probably starts somewhere in the neck of Denmark. So maybe if you’re in there, then nothing is a massive ocean. And so everything is just about bodies of water. The world will probably never know. But it’s just an interesting thing. But this is why when you’re in Germany, people are always saying, well, we’re going to go have currents and cream next to the sea and then you go to some lake where there’s one duck in it and a sunken canoe. It’s just the way it is because of Germanic. We need a song and, you know, we’re on this military thing and also Warren and Duban, Harry Warren and Al Dubbin in those gold diggers movies. There are a lot of really good songs in those. And one of them is from one of the flagging entries, Gold Diggers of 1937, they’d run out of steam, but there are some really good songs in it. This one is called All’s Fair in Love and War. This is Dick Powell with his perfect early 20th century pop tenor voice singing the song. It’s just a wonderfully energetic melody. I have played it on the piano, not saying anything about it, and noticed people who don’t care about strange old movies turning and listening because it’s just such a good melody. The lyric isn’t bad either. Here it is.

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S6: The feels a rocking chair. Look out for Rose. And was just like a bombshell from the air, a kiss can blow you up, beware of the. For two arms can squeeze you senseless, you’re defenseless in the dark, two eyes, two brown hair, blue eyes. If they do invite you, they’ll dynamite you. And with your back against the wall, she marches you to city hall and lead you through the door. And then the deed is done. Her victory is one part of his job.

S2: And, you know, while we’re at it, hup, two, three, four, hup, two, three, four, attention! Hut, hut. What is that? What’s up? What’s the etymology of hook? Well, you know, that starts, as you might imagine, this. It’s something for calling animals. So you say hop, hop to your sheep or something like that. That’s the way you call something making that clipped kind of sound hook. And next thing you know, people are substituting it for one in getting people to March when they’re in the Calvary and. Oh, no, because the cavalry are on horses. So I guess we’re talking about the infantry because people are riding babies. But you have hup, two, three, four. Right. So it’s in there and it’s used for animals. Interesting thing, though, if you went back in time and you were watching people being made to march for no particular reason, then you would find that sometimes it was hup, two, three, four. Sometimes there will be hip to three, four. Sometimes it would be hip to three or four. They used to be more variation in this and it happened that everybody settled upon Hupp and it’s variation. But that was the idea. So hup, two, three, four in seventeen hundreds you expected with sheep by the eighteen hundreds it starts being used in the military and by World War two and afterwards up is pretty much your only alternative. But it used to be that it could be hip. Two, three, four. Hup, two, three, four. And I want to give you some absolute trivia for those of you who didn’t want to hear a show about what people are called in the Army and the Navy, here is one of these weird language around the world. Who’d have thunk it? Lexicon Valley things. There’s a language called whoop. Yes. This is the way I’m going to do it. There’s a language called Hoop and it’s spoken in the Amazon, one of a great many languages spoken in the Amazon. And you know, this the most interesting thing about Hoop, which is that old man, old woman and child are kind of verbs. So in hoop, it’s not that you’re an old man, but you’re old Manning. You’re not a child. It’s that your child thing. And it’s easy to wrap your head around a language doing it that way because one does child don’t I know it. Watching two people doing it. They’re not completely verbs, not utterly, but they act like no other nouns. In many ways. That is quite reverby in the hoop language speaking head your old woman ing rather than just being an old woman. And you know what else? There are two other words that are like that day and night it days and at nights. Isn’t that neat. That’s just a little something about the language hoop by hook. And so I want to do one more little military song because of the theme of this show. This is Leroy Anderson. Leroy Anderson is this guy who wrote the Sleigh Bells song that we hear at Christmas, and he did that obscure Broadway show, Goldilocks, where I played some of the overture. Thank you. How many of you wrote in saying that you actually liked that? I knew that that would actually strike a chord with maybe two and a half of you. But he wrote a whole bunch of songs and almost all of them were as catchy as the Goldilocks Overture and Sleigh Bells. One of them is the toy trumpet. You used to hear it a lot as practically stock music on old radio. It’s in the background of a lot of cartoons and things like that. This is the toy trumpet. It’s just a great little song. Many of you over about the age of 40 will recognize it, although you may have never known the title of it. But this is the toy trumpet. You can reach us at Lexicon Valley, at Slate Dotcom, that’s Lexicon Valley, at Slate dot com, to listen to past shows and subscribe or just to reach out, go to Slate dotcom slash Lexicon Valley. You know, some of you may wonder why I haven’t brought MASH the TV show into this episode. You know, I just I never got it. I didn’t like it. People doing surgery. I like Morde better. In any case, Mike Volo is, as always, the editor. And I am John McWhorter. You know, it sometimes takes so very little to know where somebody comes from, and I want to show you an example of that and also evidence that even though America is often said to not be very heterogenous in terms of different dialects, especially once you get beyond the divide between standard and black English, actually there are all sorts of things that are going on in this country where you only know if you listen closely. So, for example, the Twilight Zone episode, will the real Martian please stand up? The one where all the people are at the diner and they’re trying to figure out which person is possibly a Martian? Here is the guy working the counter. The actor’s name is Barney Phillips. And at one point he says something, not me.

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S7: I’m strictly Sharda Artisan. Pay your taxes. I don’t know anything about science fiction. A jukebox is a jukebox, and if that thing wants to start up all on its own, you’ll check with an electrical engineer.

S2: When I saw this, I knew instantly where he was from. How could I tell? Let’s play him again.

S7: Not me. I’m strictly Sharda didn’t pay your taxes. I don’t know anything about science fiction.

S2: Schadt order. If somebody says Schadt order that clearly, then you can be 95 percent certain that that person grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and you look up Barney Phillips and that is exactly where he was from. Highway Forty. Highway forty. You’re eating Carnot, not corn. This is withdrawing among younger people in St. Louis, but you can definitely hear it in people even under a certain age, very much people who are older. And of course, Barney Phillips, when he did this Twilight Zone episode in nineteen sixty one, was a young man. If he were alive today, he would be over a hundred and ten years old. And so he would certainly, as a St. Louis person, say Schadt order instead of short order. So there’s your little lesson about American dialect diversity for today.