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Meme, accent, love-bomb post - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Meme, accent, love-bomb post
Hey, I'm normally depressed, so when I feel pretty good, I figure I'll share the love. Kisses to f-list.

Meme, gakked from delleve.

Your Husbands From Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean (Girls Only) by Delleve
Favorite Color
PotCJack Sparrow
Created with the ORIGINAL MemeGen!

Hopping from Katinka's post about how to pronounce her name, I thought it might be fun to talk about accents. I live in Masschusetts (flat a's, non-existant or hyper-existant r's... No-MAHHHH!), but I was born and raised in Western New York. Of course, this means that when I see those words, they sound in my head the way they look on the page. I pronounce them "normally." Thinking about it rationally...

About ten years ago, Psychology Today did a study about nervousness in cities, involving, among other things, the number of syllables average citizens spit out per minute. Boston was number one with a bullet, but New York wasn't second--Buffalo, the city where I was born and the dominant cultural influence in Western New York, was. If I could have a nickel for every time people have told me to slow down when I speak, I'd be able to pay off my student loans. And the interest. I had a boss in Buffalo who laid into me for not counting out change fast enough, and speaking the math as I did so. (Five-forty, plus sixty is six, plus four is ten, plus ten is twenty... have a nice day! I still feel cheated if someone giving me my change doesn't count it out loud, quickly, and to the penny.) R's dominate any word in which they occur. ("W'rrd n'whch they uhkerr.") I lost my r's the first time I lived in Boston, when I was working with people from Arlington and Medford (Ah-lin-t'n and Me'fud), but now I work with people who lived and worked all over the country, so my accent reverted to the one I grew up with. "T" is a relatively rare letter, usually replaced by "d". (ledd'rr, rev'rrded)

Although I do occasionally use "wicked hahd" or "ayuh," I've mostly avoided the Downeast accent this time. A big difference from the first time I returned to Western New York, saying "kwaw'tah t'faw" and "Bah-ston." (And no, I wasn't faking it. I was just picking things up from the middle-aged ladies I was working with.)

Vague love, since I'm in a good mood and vaguely tipsy (everyone was in such a good mood, I didn't feel like coming straight home after work).

New England rocks. It's brick red, and grass-green, and ocean-blue, and sky-azure, and granite brown. It smells of opening leaves and running water and lilacs and ponds. I've lived in other places in the country, but nowhere else seems so vivid to me, so alive and wonderful. In no other place I've lived have I stopped on a nearly daily basis and said, "Whoa! This is where I am. This is home. I never want to leave."

Even when the whacky liberalism of the area drives me to distraction, I want to hug the nearest hippie wannabe and give him a big kiss (even while he's insulting everything I believe in and care about) because dammit, I love being in a part of the world where the main concern is being morally right. Let no one kid you: New England is a Puritan world. The particular theology has changed, but trust me, true Yankees still see themselves as building the city on the hill. The law shall go out from Boston, and the Word of the Lord from Beacon Hill. Winning is a secondary matter to that of being on the side of the angels. It's not accidental the the fierest of the Abolition firebrands spent their off time here, or that, as 1776 put it, "[It is] always Boston that breaks the King's Piece!"

I love this. I can't stress that forcefully enough. I freaking adore it. All the people in the parks with their religious pamphlets, all the politicians preaching whatever their ideas of the True Faith are, all the people actually caring... After living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, apathy capital of North America (I don't remember a single decent campus protest in the three years I lived there!), I feel like I'm in Paradise, arguing points of scripture with other devotees who may call me an apostate, but actually give a damn what I have to say.

So, to all the wacky liberals on my list, however much I disagree with you and argue with you, I love you all for being out there and not letting anyone get complacent, and making us more conservative types actually make an argument instead of just saying, "Well, that's just the way things are." You make things keep moving. Love and kisses. And loads of arguments.

ETA: In my last entry, I wrote
I had a great bus ride to work, where total strangers were being friendly with one another. Little children were practicing their different languages, and a college girl helped them learn the names of the different college years after they asked what grade she was in. A kind teenage boy helped a frazzled young mother--a complete stranger--calm down her antsy kids and get a stroller off the bus, while engaging an elderly lady in a talk. One of the language kids came over and played games with me while we waited for a train after we got off the bus (this is the most gregarious child I've ever actually met, but it wasn't in an obnoxious or intrusive way). The college girl complimented the children's grandmother on how well-behaved and nice they were. Everyone thanked the bus driver.

Just in the interest of sharing the Boston love, the three little girls and their grandmother were of Chinese extraction (the grandmother an immigrant), the harried young mother undefined white, the kind and generous teenager and elderly woman African-American. (I, of course, am the Jewish WAS(p) from hell. ;)) What a poorer world it would be if we were all as tribal as we sometimes pretend.
25 comments or Leave a comment
silverhill From: silverhill Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want a refund. It says my HP husband is Dobby. Dobby!

I'm all for house-elf equality, but I'm not so keen on the inter-species marriages.

chibisophia From: chibisophia Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
You aren't alone with the speed talking; I get told to slow down all the time, too. :/ Is it connected to nervousness? Interesting. I didn't know that. I'll have to see if they still have the old issues of Psychology Today at the local library; I know they have the newer ones.

And that meme is sooo wrong. If I'm going to commit bigamy with fictional characters, dammit, couldn't I do it with someone who was actually somewhat less than repulsive? I don't find the idea of Mr. Gibbs or Mad Eye Moody particularily alluring. >_<

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now that I think about it, I realize, Oh, G-d, it was fifteen years ago! I was a sophomore. It would have been 1989, I think. Maybe '88 or '90, but I think I read it that fall.

I believe the article was called something like "The Fastest Cities In America." They got a laugh out of the fact that the slowest major city (L.A.) had it's time-n-temp line on the letters P-O-P-C-O-R-N, while Boston, the fastest, was N-E-R-V-O-U-S... that worked that year, but it doesn't work anymore. It's a fee service now. :(
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'd probably get my car keyed (if I owned one) if I had a Bush sticker around here, but whoever did it would stick around to argue with me. That's the cool part.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
PS: Is your name really Yolanda? (When I was in high school, one of my friends decided we would all have code letters. I said, "Why?" Which meant that my letter became "Y" and my code name was "Yolanda.")
pauraque From: pauraque Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I ignored the silly "Girls Only" warning, and got Captain Barbossa and Lucius Malfoy. Dude -- score!
cheshyre From: cheshyre Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
How... evocative.

I'm a Bostonian (Melrosian) by choice, having fallen in love with the city... wow, nearly two decades ago now. My husband was born in the area and never wants to leave. You capture the city so perfectly, you make me want to skip work tomorrow and just hang out by Boston Common.

Brava. Well done.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
you make me want to skip work tomorrow and just hang out by Boston Common.

That sounds lovely. Can I join you?

(Well, maybe I'll go down there for lunch anyway. Short hop from work. I'm so lucky.)
cheshyre From: cheshyre Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I said I wanted to. I didn't say it would be feasible for me.

BTW, if you work near the Common, have you ever been to the Boston Athenaeum? Magnificent place...

Oh, and xiphias says the proper term for the feeling your essay evoked is "patriotism"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, I'm always up for being a patriot. :)

I'd love to go to the Atheneaum, though I have to admit, I tend not to spend my days off in libraries. :) I actually spent a good while looking up info on material at the Atheneaum for a customer the other day. And of course, on the gory side, they do have a book bound in human skin. (Check out Bizarro Boston--True Crime for the story.)
cheshyre From: cheshyre Date: April 22nd, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Evoked in me I mean.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bootstrap Bill and Regulus Black? Off-screen barely-mentioned dead guys? Meh! (Those quizzes never work for me. On a SW one, I tried four different times with four different names and got Obi-Wan for my husband each time. :P Where's a good Anakin-skewed quiz when you need one?) Plus the idea that I had something to do with bringing a person that looks like Orlando Bloom into the world is a shame I'd rather not deal with. ;)

Here in Oklahoma, you either have pretty much no accent at all (if you're a big city person - Oklahoma City or Tulsa), or you're some degree of redneck. Fortunately I seem to tend toward the former. ;) I never really noticed the lack of an accent until my German exchange partner commented on it. Considering my family was born/raised in the Ozarks, I'm amazed they don't have a strong hick accent - occasionally I will correct/tease my mother about 'warshing' her clothes, though. ;)
ladylisse From: ladylisse Date: April 22nd, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm from Chicago, so my vowels are all stamped flat and I have a tendency to add onto sentences ("Where's my coat at?" "Can I come with?") -- but I'm afraid I've lost a lot of it since I've moved to New York a few years ago. I still talk very quickly compared to some of my friends, and I've been told that I slip into a West Side accent when I'm really emotional. But even then it's more emphasis than actual pronounciation, and I can't do it on command.

I've only been to Boston a couple of times, but I adore it. And the comment up there, about keying the car and sticking around to argue about it? So true. It's the same on my little rabidly liberal college. I think we just like hearing ourselves blather. :P
ashtur From: ashtur Date: April 22nd, 2004 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
As long as I've been in Oklahoma (12 years now), I've not picked up the accent too much (still my standard mostly Nebraska with a hint of Maryland), but I have started to pick up the dialect at times. Of course, my Hebrew teacher in college DID try to convince us that "y'all" was a perfectly acceptable translation of the 2nd person plural *L*
sonetka From: sonetka Date: April 22nd, 2004 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can sympathize with the quick-talking thing. I was born in Chicago, as was my dad, but my mom was born in Manhattan and didn't leave New York until she was eighteen. Apparently when she was young she talked incredibly quickly, and while I'm midwest in every other way (my mom still tells the story about how when I was three I corrected her pronunciation of "orange" - "No, Mommy, not ah-range. O-range." God, I was a brat) I talk so fast that not even the Manhattan relatives get me all the time.

Oddly enough, there was one place where I was a success. Dublin, meeting with some third cousins. They talked every bit as fast as I did, and I loved it. The really odd thing is that they were not from my mom's side of the family. Strangeness...
sonetka From: sonetka Date: April 22nd, 2004 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
And the meme gave me Sirius Black. Not bad, except I can't figure out when we would have been able to have the relationship. Maybe for about six months before he got arrested. Sonetka Black, grass-widow. Not sure I like that much. Nor do I love the prospect of being tossed into Azkaban with him in the middle of the hysteria :(.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 22nd, 2004 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
"No, Mommy, not ah-range. O-range."
You mean it's not orrnj?
myf From: myf Date: April 23rd, 2004 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I hate that meme - I got cowardly Mr Swan and Trevor! Trevor! For pity's sake...

I love how so many people on your flist who have commented say that they have 'no accent'. I'd beg to differ, if ever we were to meet. I have a bit of a strange accent - not as ocker Australian as people who live up north (think Steve Irwin - if you dare), and sometimes quite refined, probably as my parents are both kiwis.

I never really thought Australians had regional accents, apart from the degree of ockerness... but when I was travelling in Europe many, many Brits were able to guess from my accent that I was from Melbourne. I was stunned.

New England sounds gorgeous - it's definitely one place I'd like to visit in the US.
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: April 23rd, 2004 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
So, to all the wacky liberals on my list, however much I disagree with you and argue with you, I love you all for being out there and not letting anyone get complacent, and making us more conservative types actually make an argument instead of just saying, "Well, that's just the way things are." You make things keep moving. Love and kisses.

Here's a wacky liberal sending you love and kisses straight back, for much the same reasons. <3 :)
From: 88l71 Date: April 23rd, 2004 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
*mwah* ribackatcha (as we'd say it here in Texas)

jiminyc From: jiminyc Date: April 23rd, 2004 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
My accent is something of a mystery - I learned to speak while living in Michigan, but we moved down South when I was four. I was surrounded by Northerners at home (ALL my relatives are from Detroit) and Southerners everywhere outside my home. Hence I wound up with this blended accent so that I apparently sound Southern on certain words and Northern on other words. I took the opportunity as an early teen to mimic dialects I liked on certain other words & bring them into my normal speech...so I'm a bit of a mishmosh.
calico321 From: calico321 Date: April 23rd, 2004 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
As a New England liberal, I salute you! (In the nice way, I promise!)

I was born in the South and moved up here when I was 14. Needless to say, my speech as been greatly altered, but at least I don't say Jeszum crow :D
maidenjedi From: maidenjedi Date: April 23rd, 2004 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
You've made me want to live in New England, and I'm a midwesterner-turned-redblooded Texan.

Apathy is what I have disliked about this particular part of the country for quite some time. I'm a conservative activist, and that notion is anathema to the traditionalists (note: VERY different from just being conservative, traditionalists can be liberals, too, in a way). Conservatives cannot afford to sit down and not argue, not agitate, not spread our message as loudly and clearly as possible. If we do, we're destined to watch our views and way of life crumble under the strain.

delleve From: delleve Date: April 23rd, 2004 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have the accent thing really bad where I live. Yes, Kentucky, the land of hilbilly rednecks supposedly. I live in Louisville though which is the biggest city in the state so we have people who talk ganster ghetto, some of the horrible country slang and twang, >.< and just ... normal American accents.

One of my friends, who moved from Chicago about three years ago, once said that I didn't have a Southern accent at all which I was somewhat happy to hear. Kentucky is a really accent diverse state is all that I can say.

On the ya'll front the only person that I know who uses ya'll is my science teacher and my dad who says howdy instead of "hi" or "hey" or "hello." That's really the only Southern things that I've noticed. Some people do have somewhat Southern accents though and the word "ain't" is used occasionally but mostly only after someone says the "Ain't is not a word and I ain't gonna use it," line. The further out you get in the country though the more Southern the accents and words become but near and in Louisville it really isn't too Southern or "hickish."

As to my meme, LOL! Some of the combos I've seen are more ridiculous than intended. XD
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: April 26th, 2004 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm from Northern Ireland. Think of Liam Neeson's accent and you're quite close, though it's not quite there, because he's from Ballymena, the heart of the Ulster-Scots area, and I'm from further south, where there's a more Hiberno-English influence. (They say that's the purest English spoken anywhere in the world :)

Ulster Scots (I don't speak it, but a sor of mixture of the two) is a subset of the Scots dialect spoken in the lowlands/Border areas of Scotalnd. There's a wonderful variety of dialect words: sheugh (drainage channel), girddle (flat plate for making bread), purties (potatoes), wee (small), clabber (muck), cuttie (girl).
When I'm speaking to strangers the accent heads off towards Received Pronounciation (once known as a BBC accent); the broad vowels are clipped off and the r's are less pronounced. 'Broad road' is 'brawad roh-ad' in normal, 'brod rohd' if I'm being posh; I start my prayers, 'Lo-ard Goad', ('Lod God' in the upmarket accent).
Oh, and I say 'Nyoo Yoark' and 'Bostun'. :-D
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