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AdamColligan210 karma

I am very interested in your work trying to raise conservation awareness among Chinese consumers. Could you shine some light on the mentality that fuels the market for endangered products? At least when it comes to China, I don't feel like I have a good grasp of how much of the demand comes from...

a. desperation for a product and a sincere belief that it will work is magic? (The tiger eye really will moderate my epileptic child's seizures).

b. desperation to project status? (Even if red panda hats aren't really "lucky", those suitors won't marry the daughter of a man who can't afford a red panda hat).

c. lack of understanding that the resource will run out? (Africa is huge, rhinos are powerful, and it's just a few rhino horns...nature will take care of itself).

d. lack of concern that the resource will run out? (I just want this shark fin soup, how it gets here isn't my problem, and future generations will just have to deal with it).

e. defeatism? (The elephants are doomed because other people won't change their behavior. So there is no point in changing mine).

Of course, we have some similar issues in the West (such as with use of antibiotics). But the motivation of the Chinese consumers still often seems like a mystery to me.

AdamColligan4 karma

Explanation for why it's better and/or why the choice is offered?

AdamColligan2 karma

Do you think there has been any significant change in the type of humor that is appreciated by the new generation that has come of age since you have been in publication? Are there types of joke that 20-year-olds loved 25 years ago but that fall flat with today's 20-year-olds, or vice versa?

AdamColligan2 karma

Has this resulted in there being a generation gap in the writers' room over what's funny? Or is everyone in tune with the audience enough that Onion staff of all ages usually agree on what joke would be effective even if they differ in how funny they personally find it?

AdamColligan2 karma

(1). Do I speak "surfer dude", or is something else going on with Californication of US English?

As an 80s-born kid, I remember being told that Southern California dialects had taken over youth speech while I was growing up. Lo and behold, even though I grew up in eastern Georgia (state), spent my young adulthood in England, and then moved to Austin, the giant dialect quiz pegged me somewhere in the L.A. region, where I had spent all of two days of my life. Is this really about the movie "Clueless" and the Ninja Turtles, or has something else been going on with my generation's speech? Since I'm a bit "from nowhere", is SoCal the new "from nowhere" accent rather than Omaha?

(2). What is the deal with the speech of Americans who live in England for extended periods?

Maybe you have some personal insight into this as someone who has lived on both sides of the pond? I moved to Cambridge after high school and lived there for five years. By the end of that time, even though I couldn't hear it while I was speaking, I thought recordings of my voice sounded somewhat ridiculous. And Americans I knew who had lived there for many years also had a strange but identifiable accent. It was a couple years back in the US before I shed it. Are there certain specific properties that make this "affected" speech? And does it seem affected just because it might resemble old New York socialite dialects, or is there some other reason it puts people off?

EDIT: Found where I think I picked up this idea of surfer dudes and valley girls defining the accents and separating them by gender. It's either this part of Do You Speak American? or some of the source material linked there.