Thursday, July 05, 2007


They used to tell us to say creek, but we always said crick. I hear some people say off-ten; we never said anything but offen. I mean, that's like saying cass-tel for cassel!

Seems I hear a lot of people say melk for milk. And some even say chohldren for children.

And then there are the people (somehow I always think of them as being from Texas) who say heeeee-row for here-oh, and veeeee-hickel for vee'ick'l.

And I recently heard someone say see-antsy for seance.

And let's not get into grammar. How do you explain to a Frenchman, earnest student of English fresh off the jetliner from Paris, that out here in the heartland, it's not we haven't been going, but rather we ain't been goin'.

And please note, out here "been" is pronounced "ben," and neither "bean" (either British or else hoity-toity) nor (never heard it except in a grammar book) "bin."



Blogger Unknown said...

variation is coooooool!!!

Friday, July 06, 2007 3:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and then there's 'warsh' for 'wash'

and 'flustrated' for 'frustrated,' or 'flustration' for 'frustration'

Friday, July 06, 2007 4:55:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Yeah, I always say that variations like these go a long way toward making up for the fact that English doesn't have all sorts of radically divergent dialects like Italian has.

Another cool one— I've known people who call the shrew a shrewd. The little critter known as a shrew. They call it a shrewd.

Which in some odd way is fitting, almost more fitting than "shrew." Sort of like calling a blue darter hawk a blue dollar hawk.

Friday, July 06, 2007 9:06:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

BTW, milk as melk... somewhere in his three volumes on the American Language, H.L. Mencken attributes this pronunciation to influence from some dialect of German (standard German = "Milch"). However I've read elsewhere since that "melk" is a Scottish pronunciation.

America being the melting pot it is, the answer could well be "both/and," for all I know.

Friday, July 06, 2007 9:19:00 PM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

Melk, bean, ben...

The answer, my friend, is lowing in the bin,
The answer is lowing in the bin!

Friday, July 06, 2007 10:27:00 PM  

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