Eric Randall, “Blame Harvard for this annoying Boston accent test” (Boston Globe, Aug. 25, 2015)
Linguist and journalist Ben Zimmer has taken to collecting early examples of the “Harvard Yard” version of the phrase. Though he hasn’t found a patient zero, he’s seen it written down as early as 1946 when it was already being referred to as the “Famous Harvard Accent Test.”
Harvard, it turns out, once had its own dialect, distinct from the Boston accent, as we know it. Like the Boston accent, it was distinguished by the dropping of the “r.”
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