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GoGaslightYerself t1_j9us0b9 wrote

Big vowel shift still present. "House" is pronounced "hice" (rhymes with "mice" or "lice")...and the number "four" is pronounced "far" (rhymes with "car") ... it takes a while to learn to understand it if you didn't grow up hearing it.

Apparently many of the original settlers were from the Cornwall area of SW England.

The colonial explorer John Smith (or possibly his doctor, Walter Russell, I forget) named the island after the same-named place in Morocco.


Pruppelippelupp t1_j9va0nr wrote

>were from the Cornwall area of SW England.

given how they pronounce those words, yeah. makes sense. especially since they emigrated hundreds of years ago.


[deleted] t1_j9wkfpo wrote

>Apparently many of the original settlers were from the Cornwall area of SW England.

Before I read this part I was going to say the "far" pronunciation of "four" made me hear an Irish/English accent in my head


themagicbong t1_j9x5lwh wrote

Fascinating, there is an incredibly similar sorta situation and accent here in NC, referred to as "high tider. This kinda thing is a bit more common than I thought. The common phrase to show off the accent, as it were, is

"High tide on the sound side"

Which becomes

"Hoi toide on the sound soide"


UrbanPrimative t1_j9x31wt wrote

Waterhouse has forgotten all of their names. He always immediately forgets the names. Even if he remembered them, he would not know their significance, as he does not actually have the organization chart of the Foreign Ministry (which runs Intelligence) and the Military laid out in front of him. They keep saying "woe to hice!" but just as he actually begins to feel sorry for this Hice fellow, whoever he is, he figures out that this is how they pronounce "Waterhouse." Other than that, the one remark that actually penetrates his brain is when one of the Other Guys says something about the Prime Minister that implies considerable familiarity. And he’s not even the Main Guy. The Main Guy is much older and more distinguished. So it seems to Waterhouse (though he has completely stopped listening to what all of these people are saying to him) that a good half of the people in the room have recently had conversations with Winston Churchill.

Then, suddenly, certain words come into the conversation. Waterhouse was not paying attention, but he is pretty sure that within the last ten seconds, the word Ultra was uttered. He blinks and sits up straighter.

The Main Guy looks bemused. The Other Guys look startled.

"Was something said, a few minutes ago, about the availability of coffee?" Waterhouse says.

"Miss Stanhope, coffee for Captain Woe To Hice," says the Main Guy into an electrical intercom. It is one of only half a dozen office intercoms in the British Empire. However, it is cast in a solid ingot from a hundred pounds of iron and fed by 420-volt cables as thick as Waterhouse’s index finger. "And if you would be so good as to bring tea."

-Cyptonomicon, Neil Stephenson


EndIsNighLetsGetHi t1_j9x69re wrote

God I fucking love this book.


GoGaslightYerself t1_j9y1541 wrote

> God I fucking love this book.

I thought it was an almost impenetrable slog. I'd rather read DFW...and that's saying something!

Apparently both are way above my pay grade (or crank quotient).


EndIsNighLetsGetHi t1_ja0wdux wrote

It is almost impenetrable, but damn is it rewarding to finish. All of his books are great. Anathem is by far the best.


MrMastodon t1_j9y7la0 wrote

>Apparently many of the original settlers were from the Cornwall area of SW England.

And they're isolated and inbred?

Quelle surprise!


NewCanadianMTurker t1_j9ugvm8 wrote

Wait, their population is only 727 yet they've been living on that same island for hundreds of years? Wouldn't inbreeding be a problem?


danathecount t1_j9updiv wrote

There is actually research on this topic, as this problem applies to colonizing space.

Apparently, you only need a starting population of 160 people to have enough genetic diversity for a healthy population, but that's in a vacuum (no pun intended). I'm sure it would be a lower number if every so often new genetics are introduced to the population - which is probably the case on Tangier Island.

On a side note, Iceland has an app where you can make sure the person you want to be with isn't related to you.


p314159i t1_j9w1zuv wrote

It should also be noted that the reason that app exists is not that this is a problem in iceland specifically but rather than iceland is a place where the data exists specifically because extensive records of the whole population going back generations exist.


CDinDC t1_j9wnhtb wrote

Iceland also needs this app because their surname system doesn’t make it clear who might be a cousin. If I meet someone with my great-grandmother’s maiden name as a last name, I know to avoid mating with them.

In Iceland, surnames are just your fathers first name + dóttir or son. It can be a lot less clear that you might be genetically connected to a hook up.


MattyKatty t1_j9y7i4d wrote

> If I meet someone with my great-grandmother’s maiden name as a last name, I know to avoid mating with them.

That far removed, and that being the only familial connection, you would very likely be fine. Unless your great-grandmother also happened to be her own aunt/cousin, I guess.


Sharrakor t1_j9yfgu3 wrote

You know your great-grandmothers' maiden names?


-UpsetDesk t1_j9yulbz wrote

… You don’t?


Sharrakor t1_j9yvewy wrote

I just remembered that I made a family tree years ago, so upon looking them up, now I do. I will probably forget before the end of the day, though.


NewCanadianMTurker t1_j9uq4o3 wrote

Interesting! But I'd imagine people would have to settle for a lot less than their ideal partner when there's so few to choose from. Even if the initial 160 people is composed entirely of loving couples, it would cause problems in the long-run if the children of these couples don't like each other very much.


zomebieclownfish t1_j9uzrfp wrote

In my experience with mating, a plethora of alcohol can bring the risk of not finding a match to nearly zero.


SaintUlvemann t1_j9wv6ek wrote

>But I'd imagine people would have to settle for a lot less than their ideal partner...

Well I grew up in a rural area, a town with fewer people than my intro biology class at undergrad. I've also lived in cities, including as a kid prior to moving to the rural community that I now consider my hometown.

I think that people who haven't been in small-population social contexts radically, radically underestimate just how strongly one's preferences are shaped by one's environment. Love is a sociological phenomenon, and I can't really explain it any better than that article does.

When you're living in a social context with fewer people, your sense of what makes an ideal relationship changes to fit the social context that you find yourself in. Maybe you won't have as much in common with your partner... and maybe that will be okay, and you will still enjoy the time you have together. Maybe there will be more things that annoy you about your partner... or, maybe not, since, having grown up in a similar restricted social context, you'll be more likely to share certain habits.

I'm not offering any rose-colored glasses here; life in a small community is only as good as the people around you, and people are not always good. But we people have a habit of growing and changing in accordance with our circumstances.


p314159i t1_j9w2a0k wrote

Jealousy over everyone thinking the same person from a limited pool is the most compatible with them seems like it would be a bigger problem than people not being able to find anyone who was compatible.


LurkForYourLives t1_j9xtva7 wrote

….have you met the majority of our entire world yet? Women have only relatively recently had any choice in who they married. We’ve been chattel for aeons.


ThomasButtz t1_j9uk609 wrote

People move away and move there. A random sailor can drop some "diversity" into a lady once in awhile. Etc Etc.

IIRC, genetically, not really a problem with basic social norms like "you and your sister don't make kids." Skipping generations and after first cousins, the genetic risk is kinda negligible.

Edit: Also, I'd have to imagine it's socially taboo. I heard from a guy that worked on St. Helena it wasn't a polite topic of conversation with the locals...


eatabean t1_j9v98xb wrote

He would also drop his Jersey dialect in there.


GhostOfPornPast t1_j9ve3sj wrote

Those are what they call "Moses babies." You put it in a basket and push it out to sea


h2opolopunk t1_j9w3s05 wrote


Wasn't that an old wooden ship from the Civil War era?


GreenStrong t1_j9uolp1 wrote

The dialect is regional, not isolated to the island, and they probably find ways to exchange genetic material with other people in the region. Rumor has it that they go at it with enthusiasm. Just a bit down the coast they call this accent an "Ocracoke Brogue" or simply a "Hoi Toide" (high tide) accent.

Dialect changes over time in ways that are not predictable, but which follow consistent patterns, simply because we have to make words sound different from each other. The rhoticity of this dialect and fragments left over from the tail end of the great vowel shift are how linguists know this dialect has seen relatively little change. But it is a mistake to think that everyone talked this way in the 1700s. Accents in England are very diverse based on region and social class, and they were even more so before things like public education, railroads, and mass media. This Shakespeare dialog is a pretty well sourced performance of late 1600s London English, but people from other parts of the country would have sounded different, and colonists would have developed idiosyncratic regional dialects.


PatrickMorris t1_j9wpj4z wrote

I live generally near the island, about 30 mins away, I wouldn’t exactly call it regional. When I overhear them talk half the time I’m like what the fuck are you even saying??

The only other place I’ve experienced that is deep Appalachia.


myfuntimes t1_j9vlevo wrote

I’ve been to the island. Yes, inbreeding is a problem there. There’s actually some disease or something named after the island.

A lot of the tomb, stones on the island have the same two or three last names.

Also, they really aren’t super isolated.


bros402 t1_j9x3j2f wrote

sounds like they have a family wreath instead of a tree


p314159i t1_j9w1j5d wrote

Inbreeding is usually only a problem when there are multi-generational instances of cousins marriages. Singular cousin marriage so long as they are not repeated tend to not result in any apparent ill effects. The entire marriage history of Iceland has been studied and while they had more than 727 (current population 300k, it was below 100k before the 1930s) and absolutely no ill effects were observed from the range of third or fourth cousins. Even if the population never changed and everyone is your fifth or sixth cousin it is not worth worrying about.


Crayshack t1_j9ytvmc wrote

They aren't completely isolated. It's a relatively short boat ride to get to Crisfield. It's kind of similar to any small town of that size that has a larger city nearby. There's some intermingling and some people that travel back and forth regularly.


tyty657 t1_j9wxa3t wrote

Nope anything past 200 starting is enough genetic diversity.


MrSquigles t1_j9umgpq wrote

I'm from SW England and I can confirm this accent is very close.


coldfarm t1_j9uqn5m wrote

The accent continuum in the whole Tidewater and Chesapeake region is strongly rooted in the West Country. It also vanishes once you get more than a few miles from the Bay, excepting the Eastern Shore.


morsodo99 t1_j9vqheb wrote

The Outer Banks of North Carolina have a similar accent called the “Hoi-Toider”. Talk to an old timer there and it’s this weird half Scottish accent.


Reveal101 t1_j9vhsh1 wrote

Sound like newfies ta me, buy.


NWTboy t1_j9w03dh wrote

Why don’t ya wait where ya is til we comes where ya to? Yes b’y


MonsteraAureaQueen t1_j9w9dd9 wrote

There are semi-isolated watermen communities all over coastal Virginia/NC that have distinctive and somewhat related accents.

I live nearish to Gloucester VA and the Guinea community aren't widely known outside the region, but their accent is very distinctive and difficult to understand to outsiders.


themagicbong t1_j9x590g wrote

Same here in NC, we have this accent called high tider that dates back to England centuries ago. I've shown people from England and have heard it really does sound incredibly similar. The settlers arrived near Beaufort, which is one of the oldest towns in NC if not the oldest, and they set up shop on Harkers Island/Down East. Parts didn't even have a connection to the mainland, or even electricity, until like, the 50s. That isolation has allowed the unique accent to still survive. I had teachers with that accent growing up. Took a long time to understand it when spoken quickly. Blackbeard also used to hang out in Beaufort, just as a fun aside.


vonvoltage t1_j9wb747 wrote

I would suggest to anyone who's interested to check out the Cape Shore on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, Canada.

Similar idea but it's changing now. When I went there for summer holidays in the 80s and 90s the dialect sounded so old fashioned Irish. They even have had historians out there who say how similar the accent is to the areas around Wexford and Waterford Ireland from long ago.


BrooksideNL t1_j9xozmd wrote

I grew up in that area, and the old folks still have the dialect. The new generation, not so much. TV shows from the mainland and America are to blame.


Switch-in-MD t1_j9w9qso wrote

As someone who lives within 100 miles and has heard this story. I believe it was true in the 1950s, maybe even the 70s. I wonder if it’s still true given they have access to tv, electricity, and the modern world.

It may be that they are both “still closest” and “much farther away from the. 1700s than they were just 50 years ago.”


1_800_UNICORN t1_j9x06z5 wrote

The article literally has video evidence of people today speaking with the accent. How you gonna disagree with the headline without even reading the article dude.


owenthegreat t1_j9xfvfh wrote

The article also points out that the accent is fading fast, for exactly those reasons.


Huge_Contribution_46 t1_j9x7xh0 wrote

Interesting enough to read the title and maybe a few summaries in the comments. Definitely not interesting enough to read an article.


koshergoy t1_j9zmgzv wrote

In high school we had a mid-year transfer student, a real hillbilly from mountains of SW Virginia. He was butt of jokes for his raggedy clothes, bowl haircut and notable accent and quaint expressions. It wasn't til, in English Lit class, when the teacher asked him to give the meaning of a particularly difficult Shakespearean sonnet that we realized he had a gift.....He was able to perfectly reckon the meaning of the (quite foreign to us) antiquated passage. His isolated mountain home carried on the linguist tradition of early 1700 English settlers without impact from outsiders. He told us his area hadn't received electricity until after he was born, in 1952.

He quickly became accepted as 'the kid who talked like Shakespeare' and he 'learned' us Yanee kids lots of useful words like 'ken' (know), 'kith and kin' (family and relatives) and other obtuse turns of phrases. Still remember many, to this day.


Logical_Crab_4594 t1_j9ufo15 wrote

Fascinating and a bit sad. Surely seems globalisation and rising sea levels are going to slowly erode this community


lemonyzest757 t1_j9utl38 wrote

It's already happening.

['You can't live in a swamp': Virginia fishing village threatened by rising sea levels

A new study found that Tangier Island is losing ground faster than previously thought, highlighting how climate change threatens U.S. coastal communities.](


GoGaslightYerself t1_j9uuc6s wrote

Much of the loss of land in the area is due to subsidence. There's a huge bolide crater -- bigger than Rhode Island and deeper than the Grand Canyon -- to the south of Tangier, and all the land, from Tangier to Virginia Beach, is slowly sinking to fill in that crater. Add the subsidence to the sea level rise and you've got some serious rising damp.


lemonyzest757 t1_j9uusuz wrote

I know - I live in the Tidewater area. I don't know how much exactly is due to rising sea levels and how much to subsidence, but they are both factors.


dovetc t1_j9yr8oj wrote

Erosion will destroy tangiers long before rising seas.


enfiel t1_j9yed40 wrote

And every year they sacrifice a policeman for a good harvest.


anthonybsd t1_j9x3mre wrote

The whole premise has likely nothing to do with UK and has more to do with island isolation. Read this this

TLDR: what’s currently known as a British accent is really a London accent that spread in the mid to late 19th century and American accent is closer to the original.


crystalGwolf t1_j9xu9u9 wrote

As a British person, couple points:

  1. There's no such thing as a British accent, it includes 3 countries each with their own substantial regional differences
  2. Received pronunciation or standard southern or just London accent is most dominant and you'll find it around London and home counties but only there
  3. Some Americans may pronounce certain words with similarities to London Shakespearean English but there's no way Elizabethans/Georgians walked around with the nasally accent Americans do today. Village towns in the black country and south west of England are going to be consistently more correlated

Re-AnImAt0r t1_j9y2gam wrote

>with the nasally accent Americans do today

wait, you watch Avengers and think Samuel L Jackson, Robert Downey Jr, etc. somehow have "nasally" accents but Peggy Carter and the other Brits who don't pronounce their "R"s and whose air literally goes up into their nose when pronouncing an A or H don't? crazy. You have heard King Charles speak, yes?


crystalGwolf t1_j9y8zeu wrote

I don't watch those films but in my experience, Americans in real life sound nothing like they do in films/tv. All the Americans I've met talk at volume and at a high nasally pitch. If I imitate an American accent, it's very much through the nose.

I won't respond to British people not pronouncing Rs because I've already explained Britain is 3 different countries with huge differences in accents and that probably just relates to one small section of England that I am not familiar with at all.

The "Brits" you see in Hollywood films tend to cater to the American audience of what they think a British (specifically English) person sounds/acts like and resembles no one in England. The portrayal, at best, invokes eye rolling and, at worst, is offensive.

King Charles is the King and the Royal Family have their own distinct accent. I wouldn't call it nasally but more blustery, back of the throat.


anthonybsd t1_j9yentg wrote

> I don’t watch those films but in my experience, Americans in real life sound nothing like they do in films/tv.

Do you perchance mean 40+ old movies and TV when the insanely artificial mid Atlantic accent was prevalent? That would be understandable. However, nowadays the main TV accent is some variation of midwestern and this form honestly is very common, so I am not sure which Americans you talk to :)


crystalGwolf t1_j9yw5fv wrote

No, like in Friends. They all have pretty innocuous accents. Modern Family is all a bit nasally tbf. It's always a bit of a shock hearing an American in real life though. Very distinct sound that they make


AndyZuggle t1_j9zc90f wrote

> No, like in Friends.

North Eastern accents are nasal. Jewish accents are nasal. The main cast consisted of:

Jennifer Aniston: North Easterner (NY)

Courtney Cox: Southerner

Lisa Kudrow: jew

Matt LeBlanc: North Easterner (MA)

Matthew Perry: Canadian

David Schwimmer: NYC jew


anthonybsd t1_j9ywkx6 wrote

Interesting. Friends has roughly New York accents (especially Joey). Modern Family is typical modern Midwestern. Perhaps it sounds stranger because actors (especially theater actors) tend to annunciate their words more, but that’s all I can think of.


crystalGwolf t1_j9ywvcr wrote

Maybe it's just because I grew up watching Friends aha


bgrill881 t1_j9yjwhp wrote

America actually has about 11-15 separate and distinct regions and cultures, that have a huge affect on the dialect. I would say they are more different than your 3 countries. Found the article, found it fascinating…..


crystalGwolf t1_j9ywau1 wrote

Absolute load of shite aha

Uk has about 40 dialects and 6 local languages in a fraction of space and population


Life_Less_Ordinary t1_j9xl3vz wrote

Newfie accents (Newfoundland, Canada) are also based on accents from the British Isles and vary depending on the person and area.


mitsyetzpittelettes t1_j9y9ykk wrote

Flew there with Pop(father's side) back in the 70's in his little plane. He told me that it was were my "mother's people" came from, surname Crockett. Yep, lots of Crocketts.

The fun thing about flying there was just looking down to see if there was anyone else on the runway before dropping in.


Girly_Shrieks t1_j9y4lto wrote

Oh God not more of those people who saw garage or wash weird.


applestem t1_j9y7nuj wrote

Won’t be around much longer, one way or another. Younger generation is moving away for jobs, and island is being slowly washed away by normal processes as well as the effects of global warming. Nevertheless a cool place to visit.


R1150gsguy t1_j9yae5s wrote

Wow , a real TIL for a change


Crayshack t1_j9yth56 wrote

It's largely diminished. The advent of TV and radio means they get much more exposure to mainstream accents now. I've been to the island and if I hadn't already been told to keep my ears open for it, their accent wouldn't have sounded any different from a typical Eastern Shore accent to me.