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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Youse got to be kidding me

So long to the Brooklyn accent:

The first thing theatergoers will notice about the revival of "A View of the Bridge," Arthur Miller's 1950s drama about a working-class Italian-American family in Red Hook, is that the characters are speaking a different language: Brooklynese. You got a problem with that!?

You can hear the mellifluous — some might say grating — dialect being celebrated on Broadway by Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber. But that may be the only place. Linguists say features of the classic accent are heard less and less in the city itself, especially among the younger generation. Mocked and stereotyped, the long o's and w's have fallen out of favor, unless you're auditioning for a mob film.

A lot of other accents are disappearing, too. You don't hear that many deep-South drawls or New England twangs anymore. They're all being swamped by TV the flat, perfect tones of TV newscasterese. Too bad -- we're losing a lot of regional charm.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Bob G.
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 1:23pm

Actually, it's pronounced:

(accent on the "prah")
And you have to end that "sentence" on an upswing...dunno why...you just have to...or else.
(just repeating what Vinnie told me)


Susie Q.
Thu, 02/11/2010 - 4:57am

While in college, I performed in a portion of VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE...your remarks so true. Raised by southerners who cringed whenever their speech patterns attempted in film or television productions. Of course, Andy Griffith always pleased them...cuz his native dialect genuine right down to a rising inflection at the end of even declarative sentences. All statements become questions when uttered by my kin-folk.