Friday, March 06, 2015

I admit it

I admit it.  My speech is a mess between different accents, languages and types of English. I can be peckish as well as hungry, gobsmacked as well as surprized.  I keep food cold in a frigo, and can Hoover as well as vac, but prefer to leave both to Rick.

Rick has teased me about the way I used the word pocketbook (which I'm misplacing often). He told me it was a purse. A quick Facebook survey showed pocketbook tended to be a more New England usage and considering that most of the respondents went to school with me, it may be an age thing.

Last night trying to read myself to sleep with Gone Girl, Amy says, "I've gotten so retro, at one point, I will probably use the word pocketbook..." Of course, how retro is my pocketbook with the three non-retro ladies decorating it?

But the problem is not limited to the words themselves. It is only a half joke that I can mispronounce words in four languages now, and before I started Spanish it was three.

Yesterday, I was serving homemade pumpkin pie to Swedish and Danish friends. The genetleman had heard about pumpkin pie but never had it. I offered to make one that fortunately because of substitutions still came out tasting like it should. The condensed milk was a bit difficult because here it comes in a tube and is sugared.

Thus I tasted the uncooked mixture before adding sugar. If I hadn't and put in the full requirement of sugar, my guests might have gone into diabetic shock just by sitting at the table.

Our conversations are always varied but often do include food. I told them I had failed to make butter the other day.

Three stares. Rick knew what I was talking about because he had witnessed the failure.

"I used the wrong cream, too light." I hoped that would help.

Still that look from my two Swedish and one Danish friend that I read as "If we just wait, we'll figure out what she is talking about."

"Bottah, bottah!" the man rolled the word around in his mouth as if it might define itself by movement across his tongue.

"Butter," I repeated.

Then it dawned on me. With my Boston accent he had not heard the final "r" because it comes out of my mouth as an "h". I've been to Hahvahd yahd but I've nevah pahked my cah there. I used the garage as I visited book stores.

At least the word pocketbook doesn't have an "r" in it.

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