Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Plain Talkin'

I thought this trend had peaked, but as always when it comes to trend-measuring, I was wrong. Talking about this deal where people will be talking to you normally in a regular even tone of voice and suddenly, when in their speech there comes a word of foreign derivation...

And they go wailing away with the accent! Examples:

..."You know what's really tasty? You take some tomatoes, slice 'em up, toss 'em with some oil and vinegar, and top the dish off with some fresh basil and MOZZZZARELLLLLLLLLLLLLA!"

..."We had a marvelous time the other night over at the O'Hoolahans'! Her old college roommate was there, a girl named FRANCIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISCA RODRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGUEZ."

..."And then Earl said he didn't want pancakes for breakfast; he wanted CREPPPPPPPPPPPPPPES SUZETTTTTTTTTTTEahhhhhh!"

All in the appropriate accent, if you will.

I really doubt that in the streets of Madrid, Paris or Rome, if you would hear Spaniards, Frenchmen or Italians speaking in their native tongue and then come up on a word of English derivation, that they would suddenly sound like Jim Varney in the middle of their sentence.

My Spanish V teacher in high school used to delight us all with his spot-on impersonations of Johnny Cash, the kid from the Shake 'n' Bake commercial, and any American kid reciting a Spanish dialogue. He was trying to be funny, or at least regain the attention of the class away from me, my impersonation of Milton Berle and my sideline football-betting pool. But people who feel the need to suddenly give voice to their inner Sylvia Poggioli, Fernando Valenzuela or Jacques Costeau are only trying to be earnest.

Or, sometimes, Ernest.

Know what I mean, Vern?

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