Monday, 16 May 2011

Day #57: The one with the 'TH' sound

Upon landing in London 57 days ago, we have been corrected time and time again on our pronunciation of words.  We are not talking about lingo or lexicon like a stove being called a hob.  We are talking about the way in which the same word is spoken aloud.  We have placed these verbage differences into three main categories.
1.  British vs. American accents:  This is the most mild of all the lingual differences. This category comprises words that merely 'sound' british, but the word itself is the same.  Think of this as the "Harry Potter" difference.  When watching a Potter movie, you understand everything that is said, but you know that the person saying it is from the UK.
2.  Local letter pronunciation: The words in this category are pronounced in such a way as a result of their local origin and how letters in that language are pronounced differently.  For example, in Spanish (like, Spain Spanish), the 'C,' 'Z,' 'S' sound is pronounced as a, 'TH.'  This makes words like Barcelona sound like Barthelona or cerveza sound like cervetha.  As this is lingual variation, one can completely understand how said pronunciation came to pass.  We will be coming back to category two later in the blog.
3.  What the hell? :  This category is as it sounds.  There are some words here in the UK that seem to have no logical basis in the way they are pronounced.  Letters are added, ignored, and moved around, and then we find ourselves being corrected.  Here are some shining examples of the 'What the hell?' category:
* Derby being pronounced darby
* Aluminum to alumenium
* Bourough to Burra
* Retard to Ratard (ok, ok, this one was American, but TOTALLY worth mentioning)
 This is the category that has forced us to ask ourselves, "Is that man actually speaking English?"

So, let's travel back to category #2 - 'Local letter pronunciation.'  The comedy of this category began almost immediately upon our arrival.  As Jake Plumer planned his trip to Ibiza, the island off the coast of Spain, George (our resident British local) got the biggest kick out of correcting his pronunciation.  Apparently, Ibiza is pronounced Ibitha!  So, this became quite the joke and a source of fabulous comedy.  When Jake was on is trip, you can imagine our laughter when we got a text saying, "Ibitha ith awethome!"

The mid-word 'th' sound comedy continued when Margaret went on an interview for an artist management company.  The man who owns the company and interviewed her is named Athole.  That's right folks, Athole!  If you aren't laughing yet, say his name outloud.....oh, yes - there it is - incessant giggling.  No, this is not a local letter pronunciation for someone named Azole (which, technically speaking, isn't much better).  To further fuel our fire, Athole sat through the entire interview with blood dripping down his cheek.  We will let you know whether or not Margaret accepts the position working for the bloody Athole.

On Friday night, we went to Bodean's BBQ for dinner with George, Sophie, Carly, Mike, Jake P., and Permeet.  The food was delicious and the night was great!  We went out for a few drinks afterwards and ended up back at Carly and Mike's house.  As most of you know, our favorite card game is Asshole and we played it all the time in college and in San Diego (little shout out there to the SDSC!).  Mike, Carly, and Jake P. also love the game, so it was decided to teach Sophie and George.  We found it ironic that we were teaching ATHOLE to the guy who originally coined IBITHA!  Trying to decide the rules to this game was almost as confusing as trying to have a conversation with a "what the hell" category speaker!  It was amazing.  ALL of us seemed to have different versions of Athole....that's what she said. This might be the most 'out of our element' we have felt since arriving here!  Different food we expected, different accents we expected, but THIS...THIS was unheard of!  We were forced to have to overcome adversity and accept change head-on  :)  There was, however, one new rule that we must admit was kind of cool (in an effort not to bore our readers who don't play the game -SDSC, we will teach you in November!).  The night was a true success and, being that we didn't get home until 5AM, it's safe to say we had a great time.

Lethon Learned:  If you can't underthand thomeone in the UK, jutht have them write down what they want to thay!  Ith's eathier that way.

Jake, Jake, Pramit (we've been spelling it wrong up until now), and Mike outside of Bodean's BBQ - YUM!

Sophie, Shayne, and Carly inside of pub #1

Jake P, Jake, George, Sophie, Pramit, Carly, and Mike playing games.
The Jake's start to get ridiculous!

See previous caption.

Shayne SOLVED a rubik's cube from Prague.

Coming home at 5AM - you can't see it, but the sun is starting to rise behind us.  Amazing!

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