Friday, May 04, 2012

Speaking of accents...

A friend back in Knoxville used to love to relate the tale of the time his car's transmission went out. As he was trudging along the road, he was given a ride by an obviously well-to-do older woman in a nice car.

They're driving into town and she asks him what happened to his car, and he explains that the transmission probably needs replacing. "Oh," she exclaims, "Ah'll just bet that'll cost like a wahpenzion!"

Caught off guard, he replies "Wow, I never would have taken you for a Trekkie! That's neat!"

"A which?"

"A Trekkie. A fan of Star Trek."

"Ah'm sure Ah don't know what you mean."

...because, of course, where his geek-like-me ears had heard "cost like a warp engine", she had used the old colloquialism "cost like a war pension."
.

18 comments:

Jay G said...

Heh. If you're into accents, you're gonna have a ball at tomorrow night's dinner... :)

Stuart the Viking said...

Born in Kentucky, but grew up mostly in Illinois. I have family on my Grandfather's side up in New York (state, not city). When I was a kid, we drove up there for a big family reunion. The cousins up there kept having to go to my Grandmother for translations like: "hey Grandma, is a pencil the same thing as a Pen-cel?" our version being shortened to not much more than a single sylable, their version practically sounding like two seperate words. It was an eye opener.

s

Tam said...

Stuart the Viking,

Southern English has very nearly done for "pencil" what Nautical English has done for "studding sail".

karrde said...

Strange.

I got a little bit of an odd accent by spending a couple of years in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

I had friends tell me that I had a trace of the Canadian aboot my diction. I hadn't gotten into the eh? usage yet, but I had stopped noticing it in conversation with locals up North.

Interesting.

A funny story: an acquaintance (she was a grad student studying Biology) spent some time doing research out in Maine. After asking a local for directions, she heard "...a little after the Bahabah-Bah" in the middle of the instructions.

Which didn't make sense until she passed the drinking establishment in the town of Bar Harbor.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of This Old House, I remember an episode of Ask This Old House in which Roger Cook (the resident landscaper) was assisting a Generic Resident with a sprinkler system and and said, as she was digging "put it on the top" at which point she dumped the shovel-full of dirt on the grass.

Roger then explained, as well as he could in his Bahstahn accent, that he meant "on the tarp" which he pronounced as "top."

Which makes me wonder how much of history is not how it was originally planned because of incomprehensible accents.

Chas S. Clifton said...

For a different accent, come to Pueblo, Colorado, a small city that does not sounds like the rest of Colorado.

The local accent is one part Pittsburgh and one part Taos, New Mexico -- seasoned with Naples and Palermo, and a faint whiff of Prague.

It's where people named Garcia talk about "youse guys."

The local speech patterns are referred to as "Pueblonics."

armedlaughing said...

My dad was from Providence R.I. I always found it amusing that to him the ability to see laughter was about having a 'sensa Yuma'.
Living in AZ made that even funnier!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Don fergit to go the druckstewer to get yer Ma some flares anna card for Mother's Day, hon. Wrench the stems in the zinc. It's Froddy. So 9 day sway.

Rick C said...

Yes, call information for central Massachusetts, and ask for a number in Worcester. They'll ask you if you want wuhstuh or woostuh. Your guess which is Wooster and which is Worcester.

Rick C said...

Oh, I see someone already mentioned that in the other thread.

Anonymous said...

Heh. Accents. I'm born n' raised til 5th gr. in central Cali, Pleasanton in Alameda Co., then transplant to Cen. Md. Better half goes from Fall River Mass. to Iowa to Md., both of us speak pretty much mid-Atlantic Amuricun, but get her around da fambly, I'm teasing her about "pahkin' the cah in Havaad yahd". I spent a week down near Chattanooga for a friend's wedding back in the day, when we got home everybody wanted to know why I was speakin' Appalachian....ye is plural for y'all, right? O:-). JohninMd(help!)

Critter said...

i dunno about accents, but i do know that the last time i was through Louisville, KY that nowhere could we find grits or sweet tea. we were strangers in a strange land.

Library-Gryffon said...

Many years ago my mother and a friend of hers were driving in England and got lost. They stopped and asked directions at a local store and were told to turn at the sign for "New Munsley". My mother carefully repeated it back and was assured that she had it right.

They proceeded to get more lost until they realized that "New Munsley" was spelled "No Man's Heath".

Anonymous said...

One time I was out for supper, at the chinese restaurant, and the owner, upon finding out where I worked, (large airfreight company) asked me "Are you pirate?" I asked what he meant, and he replied "Pirate, you fry prane?"

I guess it's true what they say sometimes things are funny because their true.

Roberta X said...

So, you air pirate, then?

Robin said...

Anon's name is probably Terry.

As for the story, Tam starts ... I was expecting a different ending more like when I see a letter like that in one of my magazines.

doubletrouble said...

Hmmmm... My grandmother lived there, & we always went to Wistah".

mikelaforge said...

Wistah for culture, Woostah for fun. Easiest way to remembah.