Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ewer Peetsaroot

I've been told by Tynan that I put the letter "U" where it doesn't belong. He says that's what makes it obvious I'm originally from [the City of] New York.

Apparently, I don't say "your" or "tour," I say "yew-er" and "two-er."

Once hearing Tynan say it (and Elena confirm it), I realised they were right. I think it's a variation on what I grew up hearing and saying. "Your" would probably have sounded more like "yoo-ah." All I seem to have done over the years is add an "r" to the end of that.

TWISTED SPIRE IN TYNAN'S HOMETOWN.
(IT EXPLAINS A LOT.)
The only reason Tynan even brought it up, however, was because we were once again making fun of his Chesterfield, Derbyshire accent.

Tynan was telling us about fast-food restaurants arriving in his part of England in the 1970s. He mentioned McDonald's, of course. But then he mentioned an American chain we had never heard of.

"Along came Peetsaroot," he said.

"What?" we asked.

"You know, Peetsaroot," Tynan repeated.

"What?"

"Come on then, surely you know Peetsaroot!" he snorted.

San Geraldo and I looked at Elena and she, although from Bilbao and speaking English as her second language, carefully enunciated for us, "Pizza Hut."

Tynan was indignant. "Well, that's what I bloody said!"

No matter how many times we repeated it our way, he would say it his way and insist it was the same thing.

So that's when Tynan finally sniped, "By the way you make excessive use of the letter 'U'; I've always just been too polite to mention it!"

After that bitter revelation, I decided to work on improving my pronunciation. However, Tynan said I shouldn't. "Don't do that," he insisted. "I like it really. It makes you sound like a New York gangster. You know, like somebody from 'Goodfellas.' "


Fuhgeddaboudit!

24 comments:

  1. LOL! This was funny! Got to LOVE accents! How can we escape them, eh Mitch?
    When I met Ron I picked up on his immediately, and he only lived 100 miles from where I grew up.
    So, you can add gangster to profile!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Gangster. No one had ever told me THAT before.

      As for Ron, I've heard your voice on those videos, too. You don't sound like Ron, but you don't sound like me either!

      Delete
  2. U's appear where they are supposed to appear, right!!
    Canadians are littered with these variations of pronunciation ~ personally I like it!

    NOW ~

    Don't listen to Jim, Mitch ~ he's tone deaf, or something!!

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    Replies
    1. Ron:
      Oh, I've heard you on your videos! No regional accent at all, eh?

      Delete
  3. I grew up in East Texas and when I went off to Michigan State University, the thing I was teased about the most was the way I pronounced "oil" and words containing that sound, like "boil" or "toil." Apparently elsewhere it is pronounced as two syllables -- kind of boy-ul. In East Texas, we said one syllable "boyl." Kin dof liek "bowl" but an "oy" sound instead of a long O. When they tried to make me hear the difference, I thought I was saying exactly what they were saying. Eventually I caught on and adopted the standard (or standardized) pronunciation. Although I did point out that much of the oil came from Texas and therefore we were the ones who knew how to say it properly.

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    Replies
    1. Michael:
      I tend to be very aware of how I sound, so I was surprised by this revelation. When I went off to Brockport State in the northwest New York State where they sound nothing like people from New York City, I picked up my first new accent. I actually stopped saying CAW-fee like a New Yorker. My friends noticed it. One of those friends didn't understand what they were talking about. She said, "Well I don't have a New Yawk accent. And I don't say caw-fee. I say caw-fee."

      Delete
  4. jeeze, tynan would have a hoot at my philly accent!

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    1. anne marie:
      Honestly, Tynan would have a hit with anything. He loves "taking the piss" as he might say.

      Delete
  5. Wonder what he would make of my Hoosier hillbilly accent? Moonshiner, maybe?

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    1. Jacqueline:
      I think you exaggerate what your accent sounds like. However, Tynan would love it if you would really put it on. He's always trying to do it himself, which is very funny and way off the mark.

      Delete
  6. Carlos does that ...

    We have a friend named Kristen and he always says Christine.
    I say, "her name is Kristen."
    He says, "I know."
    I say, "But you called her Christine."
    He says, "I know ... Christine."
    I say, "But her name is KRISTEN!!!!!!!!!"
    He says, "I know."

    We are still having that conversation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob:
      I'd say "poor Carlos." But this time, POOR YOU!

      Delete
  7. Great story! As a person who grew up in the southeastern part of the US, I cannot hear or say the difference between pen and pin. Gs rarely find themselves on the end of my verbs and until I was about 14 I thought it very strange that the word "mirra" was spelled "mirror". Fire most definitely is a 2 syllable word. Good thing you had Elena there to translate for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wilma:
      I had friends at university (northwestern New York State) who also didn't differentiate between pin and pen. Or merry, mary, and marry. Even Jerry, from the Great Plains, can't hear the difference among those three words (there's no difference when he says them). That drives me a little crazy. I hate being introduced to women named Mary only to find out later it's really Merry! In New York, draw and drawer were pronounced exactly the same. I was 8 when I learned there was an "er" at the end of one of those.

      Delete
    2. Gives new meaning to "Eat, drink, and be Mary!"

      Delete
    3. Wilma:
      So, you understand my problem!

      Delete
  8. We're living in a Mexican town and of course Spanish is the spoken language... however, there are a lot of Canadians here... both normal and French-Canadian (you know what I mean).. as well as a fair amount of folks from all over the USA. I've found with my practically non-existent Spanish and my southeast Ohio twang, my best way of communication is using mime.... I'm getting real good at charades.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon:
      And I'll bet you spent most of your life telling people Walter Cronkite spoke like where you came from!

      Delete
  9. Youse guyz musta hung out on toidy-toid and toid.

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      My father's accent wasn't far from that corner. But, instead toid, what he said sounded more like turd.

      Delete
  10. I wasn't aware of my own north-east England accent until I moved south to Oxford where it didn't take them long to start taking the Micky (Blue Eyes?) out of my way of talking. It was okay for a time, but then their merciless mocking became very annoying. However, nothing brought it home to me so much as when I was asked to say the words 'cork' and 'coke' - and then it hit me! The sounds I was making were absolutely identical. Further, I find that the same vowel sounds come out with saying words like 'boat' and bought', 'taught, tote' etc etc. A revelation! (I still talk the same way, now over 40 years later.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ray:
      My accent has changed drastically over the years. I'm like a sponge in that way. So, although a lot of people have said over the years they could tell I was from "the city," no one could ever tell me exactly why. Others have told me I have no New York City accent at all. Tynan is very observant... except when it comes to the pronunciation of Peetsaroot.

      Delete
  11. I had an English nanny and I grew up near to Canada so I have long As and mouse sometimes sounds like moose.

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    1. Spo:
      As you can tell, I really love accents and regional dialects. I'm thinking of adopting a Spanish accent in my spoken English. My friend's uncle stowed away on a boat from Sicily when he was 12 and spent the rest of his life in New York City. He spoke broken Italian and broken English -- and confused everyone he met.

      Delete

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