h a l f b a k e r y
Clearly this is a metaphor for something.
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Many regional English accents can be described as rather
charming, melodic even. An Australian
acquaintance of mine once told me he didn't
at first understand quite why he seemed to attract so
much attention from the opposite sex when he
moved to the Statesuntil the time one
night an Irishman
walked into the bar and he was
suddenly yesterday's news. Reggae and Calypso simply
wouldn't be the same without the
wealth of accents found in the Caribbean. Heck, ma'am,
even a slow Suthun drawl has its own graceful
sort a' charm to it.
Some accents, on the other hand, can simply be
described as auditory abuse to listen to. However, while
the acquaintance of my new girlfriend
Siri recently (why yes I did wait in line on launch day for
an iPhone 4S why do you ask), it occurred to me
that if technology has progressed
to the point where it can understand pretty much
anything I say, it should also be able to distinguish
features of various awful accents, or at
least the most glaring examples. New Yorkers,
Bostonians, Glaswegianstake heart! There is hope for
The idea then is to have a smartphone app that
constantly monitors your speech, and when it detects a
particularly grating word or phrase, it
buzzes you as a gentle reminder that you've taken a right
turn straight into Podunk. For example:
"I really oughtta warsh my cah." *BZZT*
"Her name is Fioner." *BZZT*
(Stream of unintelligible gibberish containing the words
"kilt", "haggis", or any reference to alcohol)
Eventually, with enough such corrective actions, the
speaker will learn to habitually avoid using
these speech patterns of their own
accord, much to the relief of those forced to listen to
(Note that this is not intended for native speakers of
non-English languagesexcept native Francophones,
for which the Electrified Testicular
Clamp add-on is required.)
<with midwestern twang> Similar to this?
[swimswim, Oct 21 2011]
West Midlands accent
unpopular in England, but apparently goes down well in U.S. (the accent, not the humour, necessarily) [pertinax, Oct 21 2011]
Same joke, Glasgow accent - you decide.
[pertinax, Oct 21 2011]
The Accent coach...
[xandram, Oct 21 2011]
yet another use for the.....
[not_morrison_rm, Oct 23 2011]
West Midlands / West Indies hybrid, different jokes
[pertinax, Oct 25 2011]
||[+] I like it, but it's sort of discriminating. Some of those *talkers* don't think there is anything wrong with the way they speak. I moved from Connecticut to the Boston area years ago and besides noticing the differently pronouced words with the same vowels, also heard my own *accent*. I have rounded out my English to come somewhere in between the outright wrong pronuncation, to the actual *correct* (if there is one) pronuncation.
||(I remember when my (ex)husband said to "go mail the lettuce"- He was a Bostonian!)
||Expanding on what [xandram] said, I remember a report a few years ago to the effect that, in England, the most unpopular, lowest-status accent was that of the West Midlands - but that Americans actually preferred that accent to other English accents.
||I'm just trying to picture that research being done. "Hi. Would you like to take part in some research where you listen to several different British accents, and then say which you prefer?" "Why, sure."
||Maybe it was done in the same bar that [ytk]'s Australian friend went to.
||Not certain what that added clamp is going to attach to.
||The West Midland's accent has a long and noble
tradition, originating from the merging and
amalgamation of several other regional accents,
and with subtle shadings introduced by immigrant
populations over the centuries.
||It's an accent shaped by the industrial revolution
in the power-house of England. It's been
hammered and polished by generations of
craftsmen and artisans, turned by traditional
potters, and fired by the coal hard-won by men of
sinew and endurance.
||The sooner it is exterminated the better.
||//add an 'R' to the end of just about every word//
That's also the "Beijing accent" in Mandarin. People add "er" to the end of a lot of words, especially those that otherwise end in "en". Men (door) becomes Mer. Ren (people) becomes Rer. Beijingers are proud of it, but others think it sounds horrible.
||-1 this is like trying to interpret birdsong...
||und zo another use for the "I Said That Years Ago (TM)" clamp is discovered. Ignore link.