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:: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 ::

Websters Made My Night

Growing up in Upstate NY gave me a fairly "standard" American accent, but there are some irregularities. If you want to cringe ask me to say "banana", or worse yet, recite "Dan is a man who's fanning on the sand". My nasal a's will send you running to the beach, telling Dan to give up his sunning and head to higher ground.

The one word, though, that has gotten me into the most trouble is "room", as in, "Would you like some room in your coffee?". Room for cream--a vital question in any barista's repertoire. But when I say it, it sounds like, "Would you like some rum in your coffee?". I get double-takes, puzzled looks, and questions if I'm not careful. ("Room for cream?" and "Space in your coffee?" fare better, though the latter sounds woefully plebeian.)

Webster's online dictionary offers pronunciations of words as sound files on most entries. It's really helpful for tough words you've only ever seen written, or words with many prouncations, like banal. For fun, I looked up room, and lo and behold--a second pronunciation! (Click on the second red loudspeaker icon.) I am backed up by one of the great dictionaries of the English speaking world. No one may ever make fun of my "rums" again.

"Melk", however, is still fair game.


:: Kazen @ Always Doing 10:15 PM [+] ::
:: ... 5 comments | backtrack ::

don't let starbucks hear about that. they'll start to require manditory standardized pronunciation. just like that "how to order your coffee" booklet they put out a few years ago ;-). Everyone will end up sounding like the phone-tree lady!!!
That's not as bad as my northern-southern accent. No one knows where I'm from. LOL
Sorry darlin I dont think there is a standard accent.
Standard as in the English you always hear national news anchors speak--it's actually based on the English of the midwest. All has to do when radio first went national waaay back in the day--that's when the powers that be decided Midwestern English was best middle ground.
Hence why the traditional phone tree voice is a woman from Ohio - or some other "accent neutral" mid-west zone. Ah well, I screw everyone up down here too, throwing in a few Y'alls and such with my Yankee-Speak.
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