Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Boston: Non- Rhoticity

Boston, Massachusetts

The traditional Boston accent is non-rhotic; in other words, the phoneme [r] does not appear at the end of a syllable or immediately before a consonant, as in some types of British English. Thus, there is no [r] in words like park [pahk], car [kah], and Harvard [hahvəd].

The train into Boston takes us about 55 minutes. On both the departure and return we get onboard 30 seconds before the train leaves the station. We also purchased a pair of tickets on a Boston sight-seeing trolley, but the first 45 minutes all the trolleys are full so we decide to walk.

Yeah, the train left the station, it had two lights on behind,
Well, the blue light was my baby and the red light was my mind.

We hoof it to the town center. While we are staring at a map, a nice lady stops and gives us a tip on a local basement restaurant. I have chicken farfella. Mrs. Phred has gazpacho soup with a big blob of goat cheese and bread sidedish.

We wander though the Boston Commons, past the State House, up to Beacon Hill, back though the Commons, to the theatre district and then into Chinatown.

We decide to walk some more and do the harbor, the aquarium and the market. All told we walk five hours, maybe ten miles. My heel hurts the whole time. Strangely, this morning it hurts less than it has since we were in Colorado, two months back. Maybe I’m onto something?

We want to see Harvard. I received a letter of acceptance there in 1962. My father was a house-painter and didn’t see how he could swing the cost. My life would have been completely different. No Air force or Viet Nam. No Mrs. Phred. No son or grandchildren. Maybe I would be running for President now? Maybe not.

I’ve got a walking plan that includes Harvard and ten museums. The plan only requires a mile of walking.

1 comment:

  1. Nice city. Brings back memories.

    What distinguishes Boston particularly from the British accent is the hard "a" - pronounced "ah" as in "Hahvahd". British people pronounce it as "aw" - "Haw-vawd"