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Boston Globe correspondent Eric Randall traces back the lineage of the phrase "park the vehicle on Harvard Yard."


JOE GONZALES: Park your auto at Harvard Yard.

You are watching: Park my car in harvard yard

ROSS HENDERSON: I parked my car on Harvard Yard.

LINDA PAOLERA: Park your automobile in Harvard Yard.

PETER VALERIE: Park your automobile in Harvard Yard. They sometimes will certainly say, you have actually an accent.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Those are some real Boston occupants - Joe Gonzales, Linda Paolera, Ross Henderchild and also Peter Valerie.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And they"re utilizing an frequently repetitive sentence that is specifically appropriate this day. Today is the day students at a specific institution in Cambridge relocated into their dorms, and for 20 minutes, they could genuinely...

ERIC RANDALL: Park the vehicle on Harvard Yard.

SHAPIRO: That"s Eric Randall. He composed an post for the Boston Globe around the beginnings of that renowned expression and also just how it came to be a test of local authenticity.

CORNISH: Or quite, how lengthy it"s been making authentic locals testy.

SHAPIRO: Authentic locals choose you, Audie.

CORNISH: (Laughter).

RANDALL: What I was a lot of surprised by was exactly how long earlier it stretches that it"s been considered an irritating cliche to people with Boston accents.

CORNISH: Yeah, certainly.

SHAPIRO: Randall discovered recommendations to the expression in newsdocuments dating ago to the 1940s and also "50s.

RANDALL: I found one report of Girl Scouts going to a nationwide jamboree and also being type of accosted via being asked to say this expression earlier with their funky accents and rolling their eyes at it.

CORNISH: It seems to have been designed to highlight various local accents, including those from New York and also Baltieven more.

RANDALL: So tright here were generic phrases, prefer, park the car behind the barn, which sounded various relying on what neighborhood accent you had. And I guess the Harvard community had its own certain accent that was sepaprice from the Boston accent which human being think of these days as kind of the accent that Franklin Roosevelt or Katharine Hepburn spoke through.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY")

KATHARINE HEPBURN: (As Tracy Lord) You"re just a mass of prejudices aren"t you? You"re so much believed and also so little bit feeling, professor.

RANDALL: It"s that old, affected Hollywood accent wright here they"re trying to sound kind of British. And the Harvard accent was something you picked up at prep school or at Harvard to sound intellectual and also educated and also moneyed. So I think park the automobile on Harvard Yard was the campus identical of these other phrases.

SHAPIRO: Ben Zimmer has likewise looked right into this. He"s executive editor of vocabulary.com and also language columnist for The Wall surface Street Journal. Here, he reads from a Boston Herald story from 1960.

BEN ZIMMER: (Reading) One of the chief irritants of our otherwise impeccably misinvested life is the expression park the vehicle in Harvard Yard. It is expected to be the distinguishing mark of the Bostonian. And whenever before we venture into the terra incognita external Dedham, all goes swimmingly till some yahoo asks us to mouth the grisly phrase.

CORNISH: So yeah, it"s grating, and awtotally geographically particular. And, external the few minutes it takes to gain your milk crates out of the car and right into your door room...

SHAPIRO: You"re not also allowed to pahk (ph)...

CORNISH: It"s park. Just say park.

SHAPIRO: ...Park your automobile in Harvard Yard.

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