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(snip question about Wisconsin vowels, of which I know little) You got any figures on that? I have to point out that many of these had lost their "Germanness" long before that, like a century or so.

Did this accelerate during WWII?

It was over before then, if we're talking about language and cultural assimilation, and not merely surnames. Well, to take ... argumentative about this, but I've seen these claims about Germans in the US trotted out before, with very little backing.

http://www.washtwpmorris.org/town/historic/records/quiz/quiz answer2.html

Starting July 20th, 1918, "German Valley" lost its name. Now, I realize that's not the name of a person, but it is a name change because of WWI and anti-German sentiment.

Al in St. Lou
mm filted:

When I was in college, I had a roommate named ... there a word scufflaw that he might have been saying?

I don't know about Wisconsinites (Wisconsonians?), but some people say "dunkey" for "donkey"..r

In my New Jersey family, "dunkey," "warsh," and using (A") as the first syllables of "orange," "Doris," and "Boris" was customary. I've heard McEnroe do the last of these quite reliably. Wish we still had Dr. Whom. He seemed to be an expert on accents in the New York metro area.

Al in St. Lou
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mm filted:
Are you sure you are not hearing the simple variant ... in the word "don, dog" (Names: Don, Dawn; cot, caught)"

Yeah, I'm sure. It sounded like the u in "cup" as you suggested. Of course, of your three pairs, ... I had never heard of a scufflaw, but he used it in a sentence where the word meant was clear.

Perhaps you could drop Mr Feldman a line and ask him about it...who knows, you might even get part of your letter read during the "Memos" segment and get your answer as part of the show itself..
Just don't tell him he sounds like Bob Newhart...he hates that..r

"Oy! A cat made of lead cannot fly."
- Mark Brader declaims a basic scientific principle
mm filted:

Yeah, I'm sure. It sounded like the u in "cup" ... it in a sentence where the word meant was clear.

Perhaps you could drop Mr Feldman a line and ask him about it...who knows, you might even get part of your letter read during the "Memos" segment and get your answer as part of the show itself..

I probably won't get around to it, but that's not a bad idea.
Just don't tell him he sounds like Bob Newhart...he hates that..r

I never noticed it until he complained that someone said it, but yes, he does a bit.

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
(snip question about Wisconsin vowels, of which I know little) You got any figures on that? I have to point out that many of these had lost their "Germanness" long before that, like a century or so.

Did this accelerate during WWII?

It was over before then, if we're talking about language and cultural assimilation, and not merely surnames. Well, to take ... argumentative about this, but I've seen these claims about Germans in the US trotted out before, with very little backing.

Thanks. I'll bear all this in mind. Maybe I was too quick to agree, but I tend to believe what anyone tells me.

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
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mm filted:
Just don't tell him he sounds like Bob Newhart...he hates that..r

I never noticed it until he complained that someone said it, but yes, he does a bit.

That was my immediate reaction when I stumbled across his show for the first time...had taken an old stereo out of storage and set it up in my spare room, and the first station on the dial was the local public radio...he was doing a show from Pittsburgh and I thought I was hearing an early recording of Newhart doing standup, until someone in his audience said he was a "systems administrator", which was not something you'd admit in public when Bob was first starting out..
I've considered writing to him myself and asking if he's ever tried to address the matter directly: maybe have Bob Newhart on the show as a guest (probably should have happened when Bob wrote his book a few years back)..r

"Oy! A cat made of lead cannot fly."
- Mark Brader declaims a basic scientific principle
I think you added confusion by using the word "cup" as your example of how it is pronounced. Most people pronounce cup as a short ah sound, but not everyone.

Really! Cup with a short ah sound?
Well, the sound I meant was as in I"ll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down. Huff and puff and cup and the way he said Hoffman all have the same vowel IME.
Here are three similar words: look, lock and luck. The last two have the long "aah" sound and short "ah" sound.

Oh, you don't mean Open your mouth and say Ah. You mean a, like in balloon, right? Reading further, maybe not.
The first one (look) is a short "u" sound. If it were pronounced like Luke that would be a long ... short "ah" sound but not a long "uu" or long "aah" sound which would turn it into coop or cop.

I've only heard cup with a short "u".
Hoffman is often pronounced with either a short "ah" or long "aah", but would not likely to be pronounced with any "u" sound as if it were spelled Hoofman.

Hoffman, I think you mean.
That's why I noticed it. Because he pronounced it with a short "u". as in huff and puff and buffalo.
Yeah, I'm sure. It sounded like the u in "cup" ... Chicago 6 years Brooklyn, NY 12 years Baltimore 26 years

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
I gave 3 examples with 3 different vowel sounds. Do any two of the 3 words " look, lock and luck" sound the same to you?
The first one (look) is a short "u" sound. If ... "aah" sound which would turn it into coop or cop.

I've only heard cup with a short "u".

Then you are not listening carefully. Do you hear a difference in the words "put" and "putt"? the second one is a word used in the game of golf. "pot" is also another word with yet another vowel sound. You have not been clear as to which of those 3 vowel sounds you are referring to.
Hoffman is often pronounced with either a short "ah" or ... with any "u" sound as if it were spelled Hoofman.

Hoffman, I think you mean.

No, I meant what I said.. If it had a "u" sound it would sound as if the spelling were hoofman.
-jim
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When I was in college, I had a roommate named ... Chicago 6 years Brooklyn, NY 12 years Baltimore 26 years

Before WWI, there was a large German-speaking population in the US. When WWI came around, they had to decide whether ... (many of whom spell it that way) are Hoffmans who decided they were American, not German. Eisenhauers became Eisenhowers, etc.

Those examples are really quite funny. To someone who knows no better, they sound quite sufficiently German, and the Eisenhower one even sounds the same.

Rob Bannister
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