Monday, August 10, 2020

This is What Happened When KQED Asked a Linguist If San Franciscans Have an Accent

Sociolinguist Lauren Hall-Lew told KQED, "Are you honestly meaning to ask: Do the people from Chinatown talk like the Russians in the Richmond, talk like the Central Americans in the Mission? No of course not," she said. "No, what you mean is, probably, is there a way of speaking that we associate with the middle-class white people of European heritage? That's what that question usually means. And that's the problem. That’s not actually representative of the city."

Actually, what the question refers to is anyone who is born in San Francisco and picks up the accent that is used in schools. Chinese, Russians and Central Americans born here have San Francisco accents. Middle-class white people of European heritage, such as the Russians in the Richmond districe, who grew up in Russia don't have San Francisco accents but their children do.

Another lefty intersectionality fail.


1 comment:

  1. Here is a thought...

    The "everything is intersectional" filter is used to signal class membership and reinforce the class privileges of the "intelligentsia".

    In the old WASP days accent and other cues were used to advertise 'breeding' and superior status. Those signalling systems have been undermined by the rise of affluence and spread of formal education.

    Elitist groups now use "intersectionality signalling" as a means to reclain their status. It's a form of "intelligentsia fragility" at play. It's not acceptable to paint this reactionary movement openly so it adopts and repurposes "progressive" camouflage.

    An originally marxist, later ex-marxist "class theorist" Max Nomad was an early dissenting voice in the marxist world. He began to notice that the class of intellectuals - "the intelligentsia" - had distinct interests from workers and capitalists - and was a rival to both. He basically applied standard marxist class analysis to this group and gradually came to the conclusion that 'socialism' was the class interest outcome of intelligentsia.

    This theme paralled work by some classical liberals before him (e.g. Herbert Spencer) and some after him (e.g. F.A. Hayek). Max Nomad is a worthy source for modern libertarians.

    Nomad's thinking helps explain the 'popularity' and interests behind socialism despite it's failure as a working model. Stephen Hicks, Jordan Peterson's "go to" guy on po-mo, see the adoption of "intersectionality" and "post-modernism" as part of the intellectual reaction to the failure of socialism. He sees it as an intellectual fall back position.

    It's defending their class interests. It's a way of ensuring jobs, wealth, power and privilege. It's intelligentsia supremacism disguised as social concern.