English: Two Dialects

On Being Bicultural: One Language...

My life story started on a dot on a map in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, about 640 miles off the coast of North Carolina on the islands of Bermuda. It was a wonderful place to grow up but I always wanted to "get off the rock" and move to the United States. Our arrival coincided with a very tumultuous time in US history with civil unrest, racial strife, assassinations, anti-draft protests, divisiveness over the Vietnam War, Kent State shootings, a President in trouble, economic distress and much more. In spite of all that I was excited to be in America.

My mother was a very "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" woman from a classic British middle class family and my father a definite "true grit" American from a family that was successfully "self-made" and had done well for themselves. My parents left their respective home countries after WWII to seek adventure and met each other in Bermuda, were married there and stayed. My sister, cousin and I were born and spent most of our childhood on the islands until we moved to the US for high school.

Since I was not born on a US military installation and as a British Subject, although my father was an American, due to the laws of the time I went through a process to become a U.S. Citizen. I have never regretted that or looked back. This is one of my first vlogs from 2007 where I talk about growing up learning to English in two dialects, "proper" British and "standard" American.

On Being Bicultural: English, Two Dialects from JR Snyder Jr on Vimeo.


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