Tuesday, June 05, 2007

she don't talk right

so after hearing, or should i say, overhearing a tourist say something today, i shuddered at myself when i realized i could most likely identify where they were from, regionally, if not to the actual town. and maybe even their specific block!

--i can totally feel this turning into a rant fest, so if that's not your cup of tea, i suggest you close the fuckin' window--

so yeah--thinking about such things as accents and dialects, and what i like to call 'dereLECT,' i realized that i hate them. (get it--derelict+dialect=derelect! go me)

growing up in pennsylvania (northeastern pa, to boot) it's a wonder, and nothing short of a miracle, that i didn't adopt the horrendous derelect. the use double negatives and incorrect participles (i.e. "we don't got none of those") and completely abandon the functionality of "to" and "from" in favor of the completely futile "up" and "down" (i.e. "we're going up the mall" or "we're coming down your house) regardless of whether the direction one is, in fact, traveling is north, south, east or west.
and the worst--the absolute most horrible--is the lack of the letter "t" which forces one to pronounce words such as "bottle," "mountain," or "rotten" with huge phonetic gaps in the middle. try saying these words without t's, and when you hear it, and think "oh, it can't sound that horrible," remember that yes, it can. and does.

so what really gets me is regardless (or, as the northeastern pennsylvanians might say, 'irregardless') of the classlessness of these people, the majority of them tune in to the six o'clock news at night, on which, after their local stations broadcast whatever 60th anniversary or shooting has occured that otherwise mundane night, the national news inevitably follows. and they don't talk in derelects on the national news. whether it's tom brokaw or that poor katie couric (God bless her--she tries), you won't get a double negative or incorrect participle out of that shit! ohhh no. and night after night they hear the dramatic introductory sequence. and night after night they get the same perfunctory greeting. and night after night, they hear the national news delivered in crystal clear, perfect english.
now, if you spoke like you learned english off the back of a cereal box (which, based off all the cereal boxes i read in the morning, wouldn't teach such anomalies as double negatives, but i digress) wouldn't you hear the difference in tom brokaw's monologues? wouldn't you perceive that he doesn't say, "them people in india don't have no water again," but instead, "the denizens of the indian subcontinent are once again faced with a devastating drought."
it's there, people. listen up.

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