Monday, February 27, 2006

and even more...

I am way too fascinated with all this speech stuff. I laugh at myself. HA HAAA.

I have been thinking of my grandfather today. He was born in Ireland, and came here as a young man He had what I thought were his own idiosyncrasies in his speech, but he was also sensitive and interested and amused with other people's.

He would say things like...veja TAY bles (vegetables)
He liked to read Edjer Allen Poe.
He told me I was a good gar-el
He liked to complain about Jedger Hoover
He would laugh at Evel Kiniver's latest stunt.


He would sometimes call us on things like saying "sore" for "saw" and never let me live down the way I once imitated a waiter when I was little "I'll have the shock- oh- lateh" (ice cream)

One time these Irish guys stopped in at my folks house. We had met them while vacationing in Cape Cod and they were passing through NY on their way back and looked us up in queens.
My grandfather happened to be over. They were from the same county as he...Cavan, except they made a point to say that the correct pronounciation was more like "Kee-ya-ven" Hanging out with those guys was like the closest he ever got to visiting Ireland again, and I remember one of the guys Owen commented to him that as the night went on his "kiaven" was coming out more and more.
(year's later when I was still with my husband we went out to a bar around Christmas time. These other Irish guys "fresh off the plane" walked in. They became enamored of me partly because of my heritage...but especially because of my ability to pronounce it correctly, authentically. I sang simon and garfunkel tunes with one of them. I was arte)
Anyhow, I remember Owen digging my Grandad and me telling him well, "he is a gentleman, and a gentle man."

He was a great palaverer, and loved a good laugh.
But he also enjoyed a good session of complaining.
(He loved music and baseball too, but Im talking about accents and dialects now)

I miss him at times.


Sam Seder filling in for Al....
Oh the humanity!

At least I have Paul McCartney to look forward to later
(ch 13 @10) Great Perfomances......(phew)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More on A and D

I called my mother last night and I decided to ask her about her thoughts on institutional accents and/or dialects.
She said oh yes, she noticed it as a kid when she first entered the orphanage. She said that she noticed all the kids spoke the same and it was different. As she was very resistant to the whole experience she was bothered by this as well. She said she tried very hard not to pick it up, or lose whatever she did pick up of it. But, realized it must still be there when she would hear some of it come out of our (her kids) mouths every once in awhile.

Then she tried to think of some examples of words. She said "malk" they would say malk instead of milk. "Oh yeah" I said "I remember that, we said that. I definitely said that when I was a kid. I remember being made fun of at school for saying it like that."

She went on to say how she would especially notice the accent when new kids entered the orphanage. She said she would notice a new kid come in....speaking in their own peculiar and individual way. But, by 2 weeks later would be speaking in the intitutional slang or dialect. She would always feel a little sad at the moment, when she noticed it turn.
It was an interesting and poignant conversation.


And now... my son who is very sensitive, perceptive and a good mimic, says I have recently started speaking differently, pronouncing words differently. He is amused by this. He will laugh himself silly and say "you just did it again mom". So, I will ask what I did and he imitates it. He says "you didn't always do that, the funny thing is it's new". Seems it's in the way I accent syllables. I do it unconsciously, and for some reason suspect it is something I do around the house. Odd that it would change out of the blue, what the hell is up with that? My only thought is that maybe in some way I am trying to change the vibe in a household that is in flux.
Anyhow, he gets very amused at me, and I get very amused at his amusement.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Accents and Dialects

Was chatting with les about something totally unrelated when the conversation turned to accents..specifically my queens accent.
I sometimes think it might sound a bit harsh...but for some reason I said I think it is a combo brooklyn/queens accent. (that's my theory anyway)
He mentioned how there is NY irish and NY jewish.
So I said how my (irish catholic) mom once told me I sounded like an old brooklyn jew. My mom grew up in a catholic orphanage in brooklyn and also has said that she thinks there is a such thing as an institutional accent or dialect. I seem to remember her saying she hated it and never thought she spoke it, but then would sometimes hear it come out of one of our mouths on occassion.
Having been exposed to the cop culture for many years...I have always maintained that there is a definite cop dialect and language...I like to refer to as cop- ese.

So, I found myself thinking on all this today. And I think the cop - ese is somewhat derivitive of the NY irish...I guess stereotypically the NY Irish cop. But I do think there is something to it.

Anyhow, it made me think how it would be an interesting thing to study...


I forgot to put the garbage cans out last night. Damn!
Funny, it's odd little things make you realize how the big things have drastically changed.

I bravely and courageously put one foot in front of the other:
  • I am my own best friend
  • I am my own baby
  • I am my own valentine

Whadda ya know.....a regular trinity

Thurs. musings

Nothing like getting right back on the horse again.

Tomorrow exists in my mind.

There was a 3rd one, but it escapes me for now

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Went to see the mediator,
then we went to lunch.
It was bittersweet


she's back (and it's post detroit depression time)
gotta get him a good school (and it's pressure time)
have to see the effing mediator tommorrow (and it's draining time)

tired of trying to rake leaves in the wind
time to make rummy with what I got
and be my, be mah own!

(yeah, I know... but it's a work in progress as am I)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Holding Court

"The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle..."

Great movie that. Sometimes I feel like I am the court jester,
or, and maybe more, that I am always
courting the jester....
as a way of life, as what I yam

Sunday, February 19, 2006


There's no fool like an old fool.....

Saturday, February 18, 2006