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April 18, 2017

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code switching? I gather German speakers do that almost unconsciously -- they have very strong regional dialects, but switch to an artificial standard when speaking to a wider audience.

I hadn't considered that. Do you think that Hayes speaks differently around his family? I was surprised to find out that he grew up in Norwood.

German speakers totally do this. Claude is biglossal, and I'm pretty sure the kids are too. (Only pretty sure because they deny it. But I think they're just not realizing it.)

Also Japanese. And it's a touchy subject there! Because of course it is.


Doug M.

I don't know if this would explain Hayes' accent, but...

The high school he went to isn't a private school. It's a CUNY public school with no tuition fees, and he was in the same class as Lin-Manuel Miranda (they were both in the theater clique there). I think of that as a different world from Horace Mann.

"New York accents had less stigma attached to them in the 1950s than they did in the 1990s."

This is my suspicion. I've noticed that well-educated ambitious Southerners are more likely to drop the accent now than a few decades ago. I think all strongly regional accents show this trend to a greater extent than in the past.

Tzintzuntzan: that would be Hunter, no? I didn't know that's where Hayes went, but it makes sense.

That magnifies the contrast between Caro's speech and Hayes'.

My mother is a Midwesterner born and raised and has an Iowa accent, but when she was working as a school psychologist in Prince William County, Va. in the 1970s and 1980s, I remember noticing her adopting hints of a Southern or Appalachian accent when talking to people on the phone. She denied that she was doing it.

To Noel: Yes, Chris Hayes went to Hunter. Full disclosure on the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game: he was my T.A. when I was in ninth grade, and the teacher he worked for, Irving Kagan, is the brother of the Supreme Court justice. (I haven't had contact with any of them for years, though.)

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