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Thread: Scots Made Official Ethnic Group

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrid Runa View Post
    That's your proof? Not one single American I speak to has EVER confused me with someone from Ireland, or said that I sound Irish. Ever.
    No. I don't know how it goes down in Scotland, but the rest of the world like to use examples rather than find every single example in existence of a particular phenomenon.

    Certain Scottish members?
    That would be you, yes.

    What about the English members who hit out at is Scots, huh?
    They only really exist in your head. Whatever thing you have in mind that might pertain to reality no doubt was a reflex action by an English member who'd just read one of your posts, I imagine.

    The English should know that hitting out at Scots is not a very bright idea, pal.
    I can't lie that this sent chills through me. But sarcasm aside, I'm going to have to ask "Why?"

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    I always know when some indignant over-sensitive Scottish bloviating is coming; it has all the tedious predictability of the same angry victim noise from our cherished racial minorities. Yes, there are some geographically challenged Yanks who call the UK England, and refer to Hugh Grant's accent as 'British', but it is to be expected, really. Why it spurs legion chip-on-the-shoulder would-be Celts to anger is quite beyond me. I find it embarrassing, actually.

    There are really two Scotlands: Highland Scotland where all the kilts-bagpipes-Gaelic clichés have their origins, and the industrious Lowlands of dour Presbyterians and the Scottish Enlightenment. The former is often associated with Ireland, and the latter with England -- which is quite appropriate really, given the provenance of the people who make up those respective areas.

    The Highland culture is the most recognisable outside the UK itself, so the Irish association wins out, I'm afraid. Ironically, it was opportunistic Lowlanders who appropriated the culture of the people they had previously referred to as 'wild Irish' and turned it into a symbol of all Scotland. It created a false solidarity between Highlander and Lowlander as cultural bothers against the manifest evils of the English, when in fact it was the Lowlanders who had always been the main persecutors of the Highlanders, not the English. This really is a perfect illustration of Scottish self-obsession: the national tendency is to think that everybody is as against us as we are them, but in reality, nobody cares. Honestly, English people don't think about us all that much. The Scots who are unfathomably convinced that they do put me in mind of a deluded little mouse trying to annoy a sleeping dog that just doesn't care.

    Forgive my irreverence, but I was once called an "Edinburgh Sassenach" by someone from Fife, of all places, and ever since I have found it quite impossible to take such people seriously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliite View Post
    I can say from both online and personal experience that Americans do indeed generally have the accent deciphering ability of a Shetland pony.
    Then I suppose you're able to discern between Mississippian and Texan, New Englander and New Yorker, Midwesterner and Westerner, and so forth? If not, you yourself must have the accent deciphering ability of a Shetland pony.

    Americans are certainly a degenerated lot these days, but not because they have trouble distinguishing between the hodgepodge of fruity-sounding accents in the British Isles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ward
    Americans are certainly a degenerated lot these days, but not because they have trouble distinguishing between the hodgepodge of fruity-sounding accents in the British Isles.
    Oh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eliite
    A German friend once had some "in Soviet Russia food orders you" joke shouted at him while ordering some food in an American fast food place
    That's funny, Germany wasn't located in the British Isles last time I checked a map. It wasn't located in Russia either granted, but then I'm not familiar with the American education system.

    And you haven't heard a fruity accent until you've heard the word herb pronounced "erb" by a non-native French speaker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ward View Post
    Then I suppose you're able to discern between Mississippian and Texan, New Englander and New Yorker, Midwesterner and Westerner, and so forth? If not, you yourself must have the accent deciphering ability of a Shetland pony.
    Quite a few US accents are easily identifiable. New York, easy -- although most British couldn't distinguish the various boroughs or tell the difference between 'Noo Yawk' and 'Noo Joisey' accents. Texas/Deep South, super easy. New Orleans, super easy. Boston, super easy, especially since they're the only Americans who pronounce words ending in 'er/ar' like we do. US-Canadian border states, pretty easy. They pronounce 'about' as 'aboat' and 'house' as 'hoase' just as Canadians do. Some talk like the people in Fargo. As for Mid-West, West Coast and New England, most of us probably can't recognise them. I suppose these are the more generic, formal accents.

    Asking us to be able to distinguish between two adjacent states isn't really a fair challenge, since we're talking about the difference between countries (Germany/Russia, Scotland/Ireland) which if analogised to the US would be comparable to distinguishing the accents of America's basic regions, and not differences between states within those basic regions.

    Americans are certainly a degenerated lot these days, but not because they have trouble distinguishing between the hodgepodge of fruity-sounding accents in the British Isles.
    But the thing is that there aren't any accents that could be considered 'fruity' outside of SE England, and a huge chunk of SE English accents also can't be considered fruity (e.g. London and Essex).

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamar Fox View Post
    Quite a few US accents are easily identifiable. New York, easy -- although most British couldn't distinguish the various boroughs or tell the difference between 'Noo Yawk' and 'Noo Joisey' accents. Texas/Deep South, super easy. New Orleans, super easy. Boston, super easy, especially since they're the only Americans who pronounce words ending in 'er/ar' like we do. US-Canadian border states, pretty easy. They pronounce 'about' as 'aboat' and 'house' as 'hoase' just as Canadians do. Some talk like the people in Fargo. As for Mid-West, West Coast and New England, most of us probably can't recognise them. I suppose these are the more generic, formal accents.
    It may be easy for you, but you can't speak for the whole of your nation any more than I can. For some reason I feel my listing the differences between British Isles accents wouldn't sway your opinion of Americans' accent deciphering abilities. And if the different American accents are so easily identifiable, none of you should have any excuse in not being able to tell them apart.

    You also have to consider that European exposure to the US is much greater than the other way around, so it is to be expected that we'd have a harder time with your accents. I state that fact with no pleasure whatsoever, by the way. It's an unfortunate reality.

    Anyway, I can't believe we're using an anecdote about a single moron to represent a nation of 300 million.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Witta View Post
    Scottish people are to be officially recognised as a distinct ethnic group under new guidelines for monitoring racial and ethnic equality.

    The Scots, the English and the Welsh, will now be able to affirm their national identity on official forms. Census forms and job applications have until now only allowed groupings like Asians, Chinese and Africans to specify their ethnicity.

    The move should result in closer monitoring of how Scots are treated. It is also expected to make job hunting fairer enabling greater racial equality in the workplace. The new move will also crackdown on public sector employers to promote racial equality. Private companies will also come under close scrutiny.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3387749.stm

    I think this is wonderful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliite View Post
    That's funny, Germany wasn't located in the British Isles last time I checked a map. It wasn't located in Russia either granted, but then I'm not familiar with the American education system.
    Your little anecdote notwithstanding, the discussion you chimed in on with your worthless post had to do with the tendency among Americans to be unable to readily distinguish between the various ethnic groups inhabiting the British Isles. I guess you missed the obvious point of what I said. So to further the point I was trying to make, I’ll grant you that British fast-food workers are probably on average better at recognizing German and Russian accents than their American counterparts. I say this not because I think British fast-food workers are more culturally refined, but for the simple fact that given Britain's much closer geographic proximity to Russia and Germany, they are bound to have far more exposure to German and Russian accents.

    In fact, if Britons were not more in tune with the various British and European accents than Americans, you all might as well just call it quits. Truth be told though, I really don't give a damn about this debate at all. I was just struck by the comical combination of arrogance and idiocy on display in your comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamar Fox View Post
    Asking us to be able to distinguish between two adjacent states isn't really a fair challenge, since we're talking about the difference between countries (Germany/Russia, Scotland/Ireland) which if analogised to the US would be comparable to distinguishing the accents of America's basic regions, and not differences between states within those basic regions.
    I'm a relatively well-educated and well-traveled man, so of course I can distinguish between the primary accents on the British Isles and continental Europe. However, with respect to the accent-deciphering abilities of the British and American masses, considering the amount of American TV and cinema that British people consume as opposed to vice-versa, I think the "challenge" is more than fair. If Americans can disparaged for having trouble identifying the accents of the British and their geographic neighbors, then a Brit can be disparaged for not being able to distinguish between a Texan and Mississippian.

    I should also add that the American accent seems to have been heavily influenced by the waves of Scandinavian, Dutch, and especially German immigrants, making it a bit more unique than other English-speaking accents. In contrast, the various British accents, along with Australian and New Zealand, all seem to have a similar "something" to them (I can't quite put my finger on it), probably because they haven't experienced much non-British influence. Perhaps you're oblivious to some of the subtle similarities between them?

    But whatever. As I said above, the only reason I even bothered posting in this thread was to address the exquisitely dumb comment I came across.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olav View Post

    Most Americans have lost their European culture throughout the years.
    This is true. But, it is true for pretty much anyone of any ethnic group that have been here in the States for any length of time. Whichever culture you come from gets submerged within about 50 years.

    American culture, as it were, is the culture of consumerism.

    My own distaste for many aspects of our culture here in the states lead me here, because at least coming here has put me in touch with a way of thinking that is a little more Eurocentric.

    Why is there so much arguing on this thread, anyway? It sure doesn't seem like a topic that needs to be debated. Shouldn't every nationality/ethnic group be recognized as such?

    BTW: I can find Scotland on a map. I can find most nations on a map, actually. I admit, there is a stronger similarity--to my ears at least--between an Irish and Scottish accent, than there is between a Scottish and English accent. I also can usually discern the difference between a person speaking with a cockney accent versus one using the "Queen's English"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ward View Post
    I'm a relatively well-educated and well-traveled man, so of course I can distinguish between the primary accents on the British Isles and continental Europe. However, with respect to the accent-deciphering abilities of the British and American masses, considering the amount of American TV and cinema that British people consume as opposed to vice-versa, I think the "challenge" is more than fair.
    But there are quite a few Scots and Irish in US media. Every American has heard how Groundskeeper Willie, Scottie from Star Trek, and the characters in Braveheart and Highlander (however spurious their authenticity) talk. As for Irish, they appear in various shows and films, though off the top of my head, I can't think of any specific examples. Americans certainly see/hear more of Scots and Irish than we do of people from Louisiana or even Texas. The only regional US accent we're overexposed to is that of New York.

    Plus, it's not pure media or real-life exposure that defines the ability. My mother can tell between Glasgow and Edinburgh accents, even though she's never been or met anyone from there (that I know of). I've never listened to them side by side, but it's all Scottish to me. More impressive, my grandmother once correctly identified a Dane by accent alone. She just knew it. And she's one of the most insular people I ever knew (she left the British Isles for a week once in her entire life, bless her).

    If Americans can disparaged for having trouble identifying the accents of the British and their geographic neighbors, then a Brit can be disparaged for not being able to distinguish between a Texan and Mississippian.
    If I heard them side by side, I could probably guess which was which. But since I've never heard a Mississippian (or at least never known the person I was hearing was from Mississippi), I wouldn't have any basic model to work with.

    I should also add that the American accent seems to have been heavily influenced by the waves of Scandinavian, Dutch, and especially German immigrants, making it a bit more unique than other English-speaking accents. In contrast, the various British accents, along with Australian and New Zealand, all seem to have a similar "something" to them (I can't quite put my finger on it), probably because they haven't experienced much non-British influence. Perhaps you're oblivious to some of the subtle similarities between them?
    Disagree. To my ears, there's a bigger difference between Newcastle and Liverpool, Manchester and Essex, Devon and Orkney, Hampshire and Belfast than between any two accents in the US (even New Orleans and New York). There are similarities between bordering counties. Lancashire and Yorkshire accents aren't that different (although there definitely are differences). Devon and Somerset aren't that different. Durham and Newcastle/Sunderland have similar elements etc. But I definitely don't think there are many underlying elements that stretch to all areas of the Isles. I don't actually think Americans are exposed to many of the non-standard accents in Britain. The Beatles were the only exposure you had to the Liverpool accent. Sean Bean is the only exposure Americans have had to the (South) Yorkshire accent etc. Didn't Cheryl Cole get sacked from American Idol or whatever reality show for having an indecipherable accent?

    Australian and New Zealand accents are a slight adaptation of accents of the original East London and Essex settlers.

    But whatever. As I said above, the only reason I even bothered posting in this thread was to address the exquisitely dumb comment I came across.
    Well, the dumbest comments in this thread were made when two Scottish people both claimed Americans confuse the Scottish with the English more frequently (in fact infinitely more frequently) than they confuse Scottish with the Irish.

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