Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A language reborn

  • The "lost language" Pitmatic gets its first dictionary.
First recorded in Victorian newspapers, the language was part of the intense camaraderie of underground working which excluded even friendly outsiders such as the parliamentary commissioners pressing for better conditions in the pits in 1842.

"The barriers to our intercourse were formidable," they wrote in their report on encountering the Pitmatic dialect. "Numerous mining technicalities, northern provincialisms, peculiar intonation and accents and rapid and indistinct utterance rendered it essential for us to devote time to the study of these peculiarities ere we could translate and write the evidence."

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