November 1st, 2006


Sigh-ber Security Summit

(entry made bit-by-bit over the day, post date is misleading)

I spent much of today at the "Cyber"-security Summit. I'm still getting used to the time shift, and so I was up at 6am and on campus much earlier than I normally am.. Notes:

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The Sounds We Make

I recently saw a meme, and as accents interest me, I went to look at an online quiz that purports to tell people what American accent they have. Being curious, I started to do the quiz, and ran immediately into the issue I always see with these things - when I pronounce words like "stock" and "stalk", I move my mouth slightly differently, and I don't "think" of them as sounding the same, but I don't know if they really sound very different - it's rare that I'd say with different spellings don't cause my mouth to move at least slightly differently during pronunciation. If I make different sounds though, this is a case of "be liberal in what you accept and conservative in what you emit" -- I can't easily distinguish the phoneme differences I might be making. I have no idea if this is a result of my oddball texas-connecticut-ohio linguistic background, my "learned but now automatically sustainable" effort to keep talking like a northerner, or something else. It may also be related to my hearing a lot of british TV when I was young, my early exposure to lots of other languages, etc - I can hear a lot of phonemes and might be able to make even more than I can hear. Filling in the quiz as best as I could, it calls my accent equally close to a Philly and an inland northern accent, with worst matches to Boston, the west, and north central accents.

I should note that this is for when I'm talking like a Northerner - when I relax, my speech gets more southern, although inconsistently so.

I was going to go to Philly this coming weekend for a Wikipedia meetup, but things don't seem to be coming together very well for that. I'm tired from traveling for the last two weekends, I decided that I didn't want to spend a total of 14 hours on greyhound or amtrak, and airplane tickets are too expensive to get on such notice. None of my hopes for crash-space worked out either. Oh well. I could use a nice, quiet weekend - maybe I'll catch up with friends I haven't had much time to hang out with recently.