Intended for healthcare professionals


Avoiding becoming the English Medical Journal

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 01 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1158

Re: Avoiding becoming the English Medical Journal

Monolingual but unequal, and fluent but incongruent, British and Yankee accents are poetic but diametrically metrical. Brits prefer iambic meter (unstressed-stressed), while Yanks prefer trochaic meter (stressed-unstressed). Take for example, the two words "corollary" and "controversy". Brits say co-ROL-la-RY and con-TROV-er-SY, while Yanks say COR-ol-LAR-y and CON-tro-VER-sy. British iambs and Yankee trochees convey accents with both cadence and character. Brits sound cultured, but Yanks sound common, because iambs sound lambent, but trochees sound truculent. Accents are poetic, and prosody is noetic.

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 April 2014
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO, USA