When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?

American and British speech are so different that even professional actors struggle with sounding authentic. So when did Americans lose their English accent? Maybe Americans never had an English accent. At least not a modern British accent. English is constantly changing. In the late Middle Ages Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales: Whan that Aprille with hisContinue reading “When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?”

Is Gamergate Conservative or Liberal?

Opponents say GamerGate has a conservative agenda. And though GamerGate supporters often deny that they are conservatives, the conservative media has mostly supported the movement. Allum Bokhari, however, says his research shows that most GamerGate supporters are liberal. In brief, GamerGate is the claim by video game enthusiasts that the gaming media is corrupt. But opponents of GamerGateContinue reading “Is Gamergate Conservative or Liberal?”

A More Religiously Diverse United States

Pew Research’s projections for 2050 see greater religious diversity in the United States. They anticipate Christians falling from 78.3% of the US population to 66.4%, though due to population growth the total number of American Christians will be larger in 2050. By mid-century Muslim Americans will increase from 0.9% to 2.1% of the population, and globally Muslims will grow fasterContinue reading “A More Religiously Diverse United States”

Maine’s Demographic Crunch

Maine’s population has peaked at 1.33 million and is expected to stay there through 2030. But could Maine eventually see a population decrease? The Portland Press Herald reported recently that between 2010 and 2013, 97,233 Mainers left the state while 95,223 moved into Maine – a net loss of 2,000 people. This wouldn’t matter if Maine had aContinue reading “Maine’s Demographic Crunch”

The Demographic Times They Are A-Changin’

I’ve heard it said that by mid-century whites will be a minority in the United States. But strictly speaking this isn’t true. The Center for American Progress, in collaboration with the liberal Brookings Institution and the conservative American Enterprise Institute, released a report about America’s future. States of Change: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate, 1974–2060 looks at where we’veContinue reading “The Demographic Times They Are A-Changin’”

US History from a Latino Perspective

European colonization of what is now the United States starts with the English landing in Virginia and Massachusetts. Well, not so fast, says Felipe Fernández-Armesto. In his book, Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States, Fernández-Armesto points out that in 1508 Puerto Rico became the first permanent European settlement in what is now US territory. St.Continue reading “US History from a Latino Perspective”

So What If It’s the Opium of the People?

What does a priest do if he’s lost his faith, but the people of his parish need him? Pretend. Because actions matter more than belief. So concludes Miguel de Unamuno in his 1930 short story, San Manuel Bueno, mártir. The people of a small Spanish village believe their priest, Don Manuel, is a saint. Por todosContinue reading “So What If It’s the Opium of the People?”

Maine Hermit Wisdom: Get Enough Sleep

In 2013 an elusive hermit was arrested for stealing food and sundries. Dubbed “the North Pond hermit,” Christopher Knight survived over a quarter century in the Maine woods, living in a tent even in winter. He just walked into the Maine woods in 1986 and didn’t come out till he got busted. Here in Maine,Continue reading “Maine Hermit Wisdom: Get Enough Sleep”