Friday, September 28, 2007

Speech Class

I loved the whining/whinging discussion, and it got me thinking about accents that have gone missing. Like this:

No one talks about progrums anymore. No one puts a fancy little lilt when pronouncing the L in “language.” I think this way of talking starting disappearing when I was but une jeune fille myself.

This simultaneously saddens and delights me. Faith Salie had a bit on her radio show about Wilfred Brimley and his calling out to help people with “diabetuss.” Sarah Thyre, in her book, Dark at the Roots, cracked my ass up describing the volunteer who talked about “ravioliss.”

I used to have a Pittsburgh accent when I was a child. I slowly lost it and all that’s left is the vestigial: pronouncing “our” like “are” (or “ARH!”), saying “house” in a vaguely Germanic way, reassuring people that I’m not neb-nosing. It would be fun to have it back. Maybe there’s a progrum for just this thing?


Jody said...

You know what has always cracked me up about that commercial? "But these chidren aren't French. They're American!" Two things are funny here. One, if the kids really were French why would they have to learn a video to speak French? That's like how when I see little kids speaking a language other than English I always think how smart they are.

The second thing is how she says, "They're American!" The subtext here seems to me, "And we thought American children were unteachable!" She says it with the same air of amazement as if she were saying, "They're monkeys!"

I know I've gone off topic here.

Jennifer said...

Oh, my Lord, Jody. Nail on head.

Also, for my fellow Rockers of Love? On the finale, Bret spoke of his own "diabeatuss" several times.

Julianne said...

I was just about to post about Bret's use of "diabeatuss." You beat me to the punch.

BabelBabe said...

and I spend all this time trying to ensure my kids DON'T develop a Pittsburgh accent, n'at. Sigh....