Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pronunciation Station, What's Your Motivation?

Regional dialects are funny things.

My son, a kindergartner, occasionally brings home word lists as his homework. The word lists are comprised of 10 two or three letter words; we, the parents, have to read each word to him, and he has to listen to what we say and then write the word down on a separate sheet of paper. He's pretty bright and is already ahead of the curve as far as reading goes, so up to this point we haven't had any trouble with the word lists. Tonight, though, we hit a minor snag.

Me: "on"
Drake: "on. O. N."

Me: "men"
Drake. "men. M. E. N."

Me: "bun"
Drake: "bun. B. U. N."

Me: "leg."
Drake: "lehg?" Drake gives me this funny look, like, 'what's a LEHG?' "LEHG or LAIG?"
Me: "LAIG. Except it's really LEHG. I mean, we say it LAIG, but it's actually LEHG."
Drake: "LAIG? or LEHG?"
Me: "LEG. LEHG."
Drake: "leg. L. E. G."
Me: "and what is a LEHG?"
Drake points to his leg (LAIG!) and rolls his eyes at me like DUH MOM.

LAIG. Rhymes with AIGG. That's how we roll up in Chitown.

1 comment:

  1. I always cackle my ass off when I talk to my family back home on the holidays. I remember when I first moved down here, people would look at me strangely and ask, "Where are you from?" I was always insistent that people from Chicago didn't have an accent.

    But oh, we do. My family makes me laugh everytime I talk to them. Of course, they tell me I sound like a redneck. But my Southern friends tell me I sound like a Yankee. I just can't win.



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