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Query Details

Query Subject:   American Dialects
Author:   Stan Anonby
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s):  English

Query:   Hello All,

I have a question, which came to my mind while watching the TV show "Home
Improvements". The show is set in Detroit. Once in a while, there are a
group of Caucasian construction people who appear on the show. They talk in
what sounds like to me to be a southern accent. This is obviously supposed
to be very funny. I'm not American, so I don't understand all the nuances
of this. I've got some theories.

1) Uneducated Caucasians in the US talk like Southerners.
2) Caucasians who do manual labor are often Southerners.
3) Americans find it very funny to hear someone talk in a southern dialect
on TV. So "Home Improvements" isn't portraying language as it is actually
spoken by Caucasian construction workers in Detroit. It's just a put-on for

I realize it's not too easy to explain why something is funny, but does
anyone want to give it a shot?

Stan Anonby
LL Issue: 16.1402
Date posted: 02-May-2005


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