Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Normalizing certain regions, or "I guess I'm just going to comment on pictures I see on facebook today"

I also found this picture interesting. I "liked" the show The Closer way back when so I always get their updates. The final episode was last night (it was a good one), so the facebook page had this up. It's a riff on the main character's Southern accent (she says "thank you" with a smile a lot to people on the show). Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) is a transplant from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

Of course, they changed the spelling. Why?

Why isn't this spelled "thank you" and the same utterance from Angelenos spelled "thank yoo"? Or better yet, why don't you just spell all of them "thank you"?

When you read written Southern speech you see "ya'll" a lot too, but that's actually a different word, not just a different way of pronouncing the same word.

Is it the normalization of a particular region relative to another region? Southerners have long been considered the Other in America. To a large extent it's a numbers game of course too.

But again, an interesting picture.

I'm always a little disappointed when I hear Sedgwick speak with her actual accent, myself. I only sound mildly Southern - and that waxes and wanes. Northern Virginia is a melting pot so I never picked up a particularly distinctive accent. Actually my most distinctive pronunciations are Baltimorean, where half my family is from.


  1. It's a Jewish conspiracy!

    1. One letter away - is that the logic?

      Perhaps you're on to something! Or perhaps you need to take your meds.... :)

    2. Yes, of course that is the logic. I think that it is just as good, better even, than most of the Jewish conspiracies that I hear around the interwebs. Especially if you consider the fact that J's are pronounced like Y's is Hebrew. It's fullproof! ;)

    3. "I think that it is just as good, better even, than most of the Jewish conspiracies that I hear around the interwebs."

      Can't argue with that!

    4. You do realize that I am joking, right?

    5. Oh, and I don't take meds. A little herb or a glass of scotch helps every now and then, though.

    6. Oh yes - I knew you were joking from the start. I wasn't quite sure if your logic was "one letter away" at first or if it was just general Hollywood crazy talk joking.

      I did not presume you were joking about the conspiracies out there. This does have more substance to it than a lot of those.

    7. Of course it has more substance, look at its author! ;)
      Shoot, I didn't even get into the whole symbol analysis. I was about to get all 'Michael Tsarion' on you.

    8. No one here is holding you back!

      I'm waiting for you to finish your treatise on August too.

    9. Haha! All in due time, my friend.

      I actually did consider writing out the entire explanation of the seasons, but I decided that is far too much effort for a laugh, especially if I am the only that would find it funny (which would probably be the case). I will say that in my studying of linguistics and psychology that symbology is definitely an area of interest, but I surely am not knowledgeable enough to speak competently on the subject. Wait, let me rephrase that. I am not confident in my competence regarding the subject. After all, we both know that the lack of actual competence has never stopped me before.

  2. Shouldn't it be "y'all" and not "ya'll"?


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