musings as I revise

I’m working on revising something, and a few thoughts:

• I’ve noticed that citations in many journal articles are often not complete (part of the title is left off, for instance), or sometimes inconsistently formatted within the same book or article. Most interesting, I find, is that some scholars cite their own work incorrectly, getting titles of their previous works wrong (just slightly). Citing is a pain in the butt, so I understand the likelihood of error. I just find it amusing. I think it’s my anal-retentiveness.

• When I first moved here, I was told about the “odd local dialect” of many in central PA because they often drop the “to be” in statements like “The lawn needs to be mowed.” Whereas many in the United States would say “The lawn needs to be mowed,” or “The lawn needs mowing,” many from Pennsylvania say, “The lawn needs mowed.” This didn’t strike me as that odd, and I realized that I do it too. Even in my writing, as it turns out. I discovered the dropped “to be” is part of the Midland American English dialect, and while is most prominent in western Pennsylvania, is also occasionally heard throughout the region, as far west as Iowa and Nebraska. Also, this intrigue led me to waste a few hours reading about dialects online.

• Stupid Wikipedia wasting my time.

• hmmm… I thought I had more to say.

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5 Responses to musings as I revise

  1. JM says:

    At 35, although I haven’t lived there for 20 years, I still have a Central Pennsylvania accent. My California friends make fun of me to no end, especially when I say things like “the door is knocking” or all my vowels come out sounding screwed up. I try to make a conscious effort to sound….not Pennsylvanian when I have to sound smart for something.

  2. Michael says:

    I don’t really try to hide my accent, since it’s most noticeable in words like “roof” and “root,” which I don’t say a lot (I say them like the “oo” in “foot” rather than the one in “goose”). My friends in Oregon would mock me whenever I said “roof” though.

    It’s unfortunate that certain pronunciations are read as “not smart.”

  3. Dennis says:

    We did mock you for that, didn’t we?

    Well, I remember doing so once, at any rate.

  4. Michael says:

    Yes, Dennis. Though Luke much more than you. 🙂

  5. Flo says:

    oooo…. dialectology… hot… 🙂

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