Monday, December 19, 2011

The Squeeze is Getting a Bipedian Dictionary for Christmas

In a pasty shop in Edinburgh, I overheard the man in front of me place an order for "a plain one, and an onion one, also."  It sounded like "Ah 'na plen 'un en an unun 'un ow."  No joke.  The tour guide with me had to translate.  Apparently, that was, in fact, English.

I also speak English (along with a smattering of Frisian curses).  And apparently, I also occasionally need a translator.  Who knew a Midwestern accent could be so incomprehensible?

For example:  On the way home from dinner one evening, The Squeeze asked me if I'd liked my meal.

"Yeah," I said.  Except, in Wisconsin, it is perfectly acceptable to turn the "y" into its own syllable by adding a schwa in front.  One can also end the word with a glottal stop, like the one in between syllables in the negative "nuh-uh."  This lead to my "yeah," sounding like "a-yugh."

The Squeeze heard "yuck." 

Bit of difference, there.

Last night, I mentioned that I was tired.  I do not pronounce this as "tye-erd," but rather as "tahyrd."  The long "e" sound is only touched on at the end, and very briefly.  So briefly, in fact, that it can be missed all together.

The Squeeze heard "tard," and proceeded to spell it out in what he thought was an approximation of my accent. 

"Tee Oooh Arrrrh Dee."

He says this was meant to spell "tarred," and his intention was not to call me a turd.

Well, we'll just see what ends up under the tree, won't we?

My thoughts exactly, Rusty.
(True:  Even something grammatically incorrect can be linguistically correct, as long as it is understandable.  Apparently, I can write but not speak.  Either way, sentences should not be minivans.)

Rusty agrees: There is nothing wrong with short but sweet--just like him.  (Also, can I just say how impressed I am at his ability to balance on two legs and lift the third that high?)

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