Notebook: A look at the week that was (From New York)
I've spent the past month in New York, teaching a summer school at NYU and researching a novel. One of the city's greatest pleasures is listening to people speak.
In a brilliant essay, the Irish-American writer Pete Hamill recalled the Brooklynese of his youth: an accent that hardened the word 'north' so severely that young Pete figured the place where Santa lives is called 'The Nought Pole'. You hear this accent every day in Manhattan, the oldest of all New York inflections, going back at least 200 years.