Friday, October 13, 2006

It's a sickness

I'm addicted to Grey's Anatomy. Yes, the TV show. One of my friends here had season 1 and I've managed to watch all 9 episodes in 2 days. I have no life. She just got season 2 in the mail from Amazon, except I have to wait for her to finish watching it first. The problem is, unike me, she has a life. I may have to wait two whole weeks (or more) to find out what happened with Dr. McDreamy's wife showing up at the end of season 1... dammmmit. Don't tell me, don't tell me. I know I could google it and find out all about it, but that takes all the fun out of sitting at home on a Friday night and watching 4 episodes. (I really need to get a life...)

Friday, October 06, 2006

American English

There are some who say there is no such thing as American English and British English, and for that matter Indian English. Some would argue that they are no more than dialects of the same language and some would argue that they are separate languages all together due to variations in vocabulary, sound, structure and usage. What all this talk is leading up to is a strange offer I had this week to do some voice-over work for an animated film. They were looking for people with regional American accents. Unfortunately, I don't think they really get what dialects are all about. For example, they were expecting two completely different sounding people for Alabama and Georgia. Unless you are a native of either of those two places, or a sociolinguist specializing in American dialects, you probably wouldn't be able to recognize the difference. There's a hell of a lot more difference in a Boston accent and a Texas accent than between Alabama and Georgia.

Another point they were missing is that it's not just so much the way we sound, but the way we use language that differentiates the regions. For example, that carbonated sweet stuff we all like to drink is a soda in some parts of the US, a pop in others, and God help us Texans, everything is a coke. The underground floor of a house is a cellar to some and a basement to others, and that thing I fall asleep on half the time could be a couch or a sofa, depending.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that whatever your accent, whatever your vocabulary, we all speak the same language, so why make such a big deal about the differences? Man, it's a good thing I don't have an accent. I feel sorry for you Scots, Irish, Kiwis, Brits and whatnot, though. Y'all talk funny.

So, being the Texan at heart that I am, I sent in my sound sample liberally sprinkled with "y'all"s. I haven't heard anything back yet but my friend Gamey has. She was told by a non-American, non-native English speaker that her accent sounded like an African American forcing a Texas accent. Yep... that's her all right. Never mind that's she's a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Cheesehead from Wisconsin. That might have something to do with the forced bit, but the other??

My Linguistic Profile:
65% General American English
20% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
5% Yankee
0% Midwestern

Thursday, October 05, 2006

And the Lord says...

I just had to repost this. My friend took this photo whith her cell phone this morning as she was dropping her daughter off at her private Catholic elementary school. She couldn't drive for 15 minutes because of the tears of laughter running down her face. Evidently, the school has since replaced the sign.