Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:47 pm
Picture the "head honcho" of an organization and what comes to mind are boardrooms, power and wealth, an individual at the top of his or her game.
But where did the word "honcho" originate? While the word is often mistakenly believed to have Spanish origins, it actually traces its roots to American soldiers who fought in the Pacific during World War II.
Cedric Dumornay is a Miami-based actor who's been learning to speak without his accent over the past two years. After he won a monologue competition, a Los Angeles producer suggested he take accent reduction classes.
Michelle Antelo was born and raised in Miami but has never lived anywhere else. After learning Spanish at home from her Cuban parents, she always thought her English, which she learned at school, was up to American standards.
But, as many Miamians have learned, her way of speaking stuck out around people from places other than Miami. When Antelo was a cheerleader in high school, her Broward County teammates told her she sounded different.
Language is formed by giving meaning to sounds and stringing together these meaningful expressions to communicate feelings and ideas. Until recently most linguists believed that the relationship between the structure of language and the natural world was mainly the influence of the environment on vocabulary. Now, a new University of Miami study shows that there is a link between geographical elevation and the way language is spoken.
There is a major decision coming up that will truly define the year 2012. Yes, it's almost time for the American Dialect Society to once again vote on the Word of the Year. Will it be selfie? Hate-watching?Superstorm? Double down? Fiscal cliff? Or (shudder) YOLO?
12/27/12 - Thursday’s Topical Currents begins with journalist and language expert Constance Hale. Her latest book concentrates on the “pivot points” of our sentences: verbs. In her book, VEX, HEX, SMASH, SMOOCH, she examines both heavenly and headache verbs. And more. Linda Gassenheimer and wine columnist Fred Tasker with end of year drinks and food.