How Now Brown Cows

Three reddish brown cows graze on a hillside pasture. Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, U.S.A. February 2, 2018

Three reddish brown cows graze on a hillside pasture. Los Alamos Road, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, U.S.A. February 2, 2018


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15 Comments on “How Now Brown Cows

  1. Hi Tim – I love this one and the title you have chosen. Little-known fact: the phrase “How now brown cow” was used in our elementary school elocution lessons to rid students of the dreaded lazy Pittsburgh accent when I was a child. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Best, Babsje

    • Babsje, thank you for your comment and insightful information.
      When I taught English as a Second Language in Taiwan I used such phrasing to help with pronunciation. Students enjoyed these particularly when I encouraged them to say it fast and clearly.

      • Wow, this is great, many thinks for sending, Tim. My sister and I were only 3 years apart, and there was a wide gulf between us accent-wise. She and her classmates had a South-side Pgh accent that I and my own classmates did not. So, your link is very interesting. Another interesting facet of the local dialects is word usage, things like the Pittsburghese “yinz” for “you all” or “all of you.” From following your blog for a long time, I had no idea of your linguistic background. Thanks. Best, Babsje

      • Thank you Babsje, My linguistic background is very minimal. After my wife Jane Ingram Allen finished her Fulbright grants in Taiwan in 2005 we decided to stay. I accepted a full time position at a university in their English department as a native speaker teaching pronunciation and related subjects. My background is history. So I spent a lot of time researching methods of teaching pronunciation. I told the department that I would not teach writing and particularly grammar. I think you can understand why.

      • You’re welcome, Tim. You and your wife were fortunate to have tha opportunity, as well as those you taught. A couple I knew spent 3 or 4 years in the mid-to-late 70s teaching English on China. They both described the experience as life-changing. I imagine it thus for you and your wife. Best, Babsje

      • I contend we don’t know our own culture until we spend time in another’s.
        Thanks again for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts and history.

    • Rawls, I love your insightful comments.
      I must admit that I did flip this image horizontally. Since we read from left to right it seemed more comfortable. They were still ascending. Oh you get it.

      • I would never have guessed you flipped the image! And, knowing your far east connections, I suppose some of your viewers might have found the opposite slope comfortable 🙂 .

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