Did Americans in 1776 have British accents?

In 1776, both American accents and British accents were largely rhotic.

It was around this time that non-rhotic speech took off in southern England, especially among the upper class; this “prestige” non-rhotic speech was standardized, and has been spreading in Britain ever since.

Most American accents, however, remained rhotic.

There are a few fascinating exceptions: New York and New England accents became non-rhotic, perhaps because of the region’s British connections. Irish and Scottish accents are still rhotic.

Didn't see that one coming. Very cool. And very good timing for this post, Nick Patrick! Happy birthday, USA.

Optimus Prime reddit alien on Steam

A redditor asked if he could use the Optimus Prime reddit alien avatar I designed for my friend Emmett Shear (cofounder, justin.tv) as the avatar of his reddit Transformers: War for Cybertron group. I was thrilled and figured he'd better check with Emmett, too (since it's his alien incarnation after all) who was quite happy to see his special alien used for such a noble cause.

Here's the Steam group. Now I just need to get a copy of Transformers WFC...