Sociopolitical sounds, 2019

Sound 1: “Sosh-shkyerty”

An American regional pronunciation, normative in areas that are characteristically conservative. Here a Midwestern politician says it in the 1970s.

Sound 2: “Washton duh-ee suh-ee”

Another regional pronunciation, but with connotations of class contempt. Across the United States there are many towns named Washington, but only one large city — the city that happens to be the nation’s capital. By spelling out that city’s name in full, the speaker implies that the extra detail is necessary for people like his interlocutors and him: members of a linguistic community in possession of a comprehensive Heideggerian knowledge of the meaning of all the other Washingtons: where and what they are, how they are.


Meadows, marked

As in, “In North Carolina, where we marry our sisters . . .”

Sound 3: The three-letter word that is pronounced with either three syllables (“Zionist”) or six (“uh Jewish uh person”)

For the gloss on that, consult

“Simon Wagstaff”: pseudonym of Irish writer, 1667-1745