Billy Zoom's Jet Set

The language of music:

51

While we're at it: the language of (Japanese) cars.

52

Schedule. I've heard pronounced Shed-u-all and Sked-yooall. Another Schwa?

– Suprdave

To me, Shed-u-ull is just stupid. We don't say shool for school or shit-zoid for schizoid so what fool came up with Shed-u-ull?

53

You seem to get pretty bend out of shape about these things, Dave. It's pronounced the way it's pronounced in various countries around the world, saying it's "just stupid" is, well, a little stupid.

You're familiar with Marvin Hamlisch I presume? There's that sch grouping again and lo, it's pronounced sh...

Just because a group of letters is pronounced a way in a particular word doesn't mean it's uniform across the spectrum. You may say skedule, others may not.

Just out of interest, how do you pronounce van Gogh?

54

Dave is dispositive. Dave is authoritative. Dave is papal. Dave is the standard.

Dave does not have opinions; Dave has Reality.

Deal with it.

55

Dave is dispositive. Dave is authoritative. Dave is papal. Dave is the standard.

Dave does not have opinions; Dave has Reality.

Deal with it.

– Proteus
57

Nothing pleases me more than disappointing those who think I should do things correctly...I’m just saying.

58

3:55 Dick Dale pronounces Reverb:

– Billy Zoom

Interesting. He also says OO-kelele and not YOU-kelele.

59
– Gerry Ratrod

Exactly. Nobody in Anglo-Saxon spheres can physically even say that if they try. So they just say "van Go" and lift their pinky while saying it.

60

Go! Go! Go Van Go! The catch phrase of the new Hollywood bio-pic about Vincent and his super powers and bionic ear. In a world...

61

Attempts to render words foreign to one language in the accents and phonological standards of that foreign language invariably sound pretentious and fake to me. Any speaker of Anglo-Saxon variants who affected that pronunciation of "Van Gogh" would sound ridiculous to me; they're "putting on airs."

If you're going to try to speak and be understood in that foreign language - make a valiant attempt to learn to communicate in complete sentences, with all the parts of speech - that's a different thing. My always-inadequate and mostly-forgotten college French was useless to me in France, even for point-and-speak nouns - because my accent was so wrong. It was worse than no French. So yeah, accent and pronunciation matter - if you're actually trying to speak another language among native or fluent speakers of that language.

To intersperse florid (and likely poorly imitated) "foreign" pronunciations into English, among speakers of English, is a great way to sound silly.

There are limits to this rule of appropriate pronunciation (as I have promulgated and adopted it for my own use). I live in Dubois County, and acquiesce to the natives in pronouncing it DuBOYS (sometimes DUboys, depending on the speaker), because when I assay duBWA, I'm either not understood or am thought to have repeated an insipid, clichéd, and ancient dim-witticism. (The natives of this county aren't stupid - they just speak like midwesterners. As most of the county is of German extraction - and only a few generations back - a greater proportion are knowledgeable about Europe, and travel there, than in most midwestern populations.)

And - howbout it? - I don't hear ANY of them even dragging German words or pronunciation into their midwestern twang. Because - duh - we ain't speakin' German here.

(How'd we get a French county name? Wiki: It is named for Toussaint Dubois,[3] a Frenchman who fought in the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Tippecanoe and the War of 1812. Dubois was a merchant who lived mainly in Vincennes. He drowned in 1816 while crossing the Little Wabash River near Lawrenceville, Illinois.[4])

BUT, Indiana is also home to the town of Versailles - and, yes, natives call it VerSALES. I can't bring myself to do that. However, I rarely have to go there, so don't need to be understood by the locals. Anyone outside that area seems to understand "VerSIGH" - a French word so well known even among English speakers that its pronunciation has come with it.

Bottom line: if the pronunciation used facilitates communication between the people involved in a conversation, langauge is fulfilling its purpose.

62

I'm glad Gerry found that video, I would've had trouble spelling it phonetically...

Actually no-one in the UK (that I've ever met) says van Go, that seems to be a North American thing. Brits are more likely to pronounce it van Goff or van Gock. I have the distinct advantage over many (most?) of my countrymen as I have a Dutch sister-in-law who gave me the heads-up many years ago.

63

You seem to get pretty bend out of shape about these things, Dave. It's pronounced the way it's pronounced in various countries around the world, saying it's "just stupid" is, well, a little stupid.

You're familiar with Marvin Hamlisch I presume? There's that sch grouping again and lo, it's pronounced sh...

Just because a group of letters is pronounced a way in a particular word doesn't mean it's uniform across the spectrum. You may say skedule, others may not.

Just out of interest, how do you pronounce van Gogh?

– Deke Martin

According to the video, I pronounce it wrong, as I expect most North Americans do. I've heard it as Goff but never heard the video's version.

64

Dave is dispositive. Dave is authoritative. Dave is papal. Dave is the standard.

Dave does not have opinions; Dave has Reality.

Deal with it.

– Proteus

Well I did straighten out the "heat index" nonsense so I have that in my favor.

65

That's interesting about Van Gogh - I (an American) only knew Van Go. The Dutch pronounce the first G like we do H and then the GH as that throat sound that we don't do anymore in US English.

66

Attempts to render words foreign to one language in the accents and phonological standards of that foreign language invariably sound pretentious and fake to me. Any speaker of Anglo-Saxon variants who affected that pronunciation of "Van Gogh" would sound ridiculous to me; they're "putting on airs."

If you're going to try to speak and be understood in that foreign language - make a valiant attempt to learn to communicate in complete sentences, with all the parts of speech - that's a different thing. My always-inadequate and mostly-forgotten college French was useless to me in France, even for point-and-speak nouns - because my accent was so wrong. It was worse than no French. So yeah, accent and pronunciation matter - if you're actually trying to speak another language among native or fluent speakers of that language.

To intersperse florid (and likely poorly imitated) "foreign" pronunciations into English, among speakers of English, is a great way to sound silly.

There are limits to this rule of appropriate pronunciation (as I have promulgated and adopted it for my own use). I live in Dubois County, and acquiesce to the natives in pronouncing it DuBOYS (sometimes DUboys, depending on the speaker), because when I assay duBWA, I'm either not understood or am thought to have repeated an insipid, clichéd, and ancient dim-witticism. (The natives of this county aren't stupid - they just speak like midwesterners. As most of the county is of German extraction - and only a few generations back - a greater proportion are knowledgeable about Europe, and travel there, than in most midwestern populations.)

And - howbout it? - I don't hear ANY of them even dragging German words or pronunciation into their midwestern twang. Because - duh - we ain't speakin' German here.

(How'd we get a French county name? Wiki: It is named for Toussaint Dubois,[3] a Frenchman who fought in the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Tippecanoe and the War of 1812. Dubois was a merchant who lived mainly in Vincennes. He drowned in 1816 while crossing the Little Wabash River near Lawrenceville, Illinois.[4])

BUT, Indiana is also home to the town of Versailles - and, yes, natives call it VerSALES. I can't bring myself to do that. However, I rarely have to go there, so don't need to be understood by the locals. Anyone outside that area seems to understand "VerSIGH" - a French word so well known even among English speakers that its pronunciation has come with it.

Bottom line: if the pronunciation used facilitates communication between the people involved in a conversation, langauge is fulfilling its purpose.

– Proteus

Indiana is well known for slaughtering pronunciations of most everything. I've heard college professors mispronounce the names of things they use daily. Foreign words even moreso.

67

The licence plate on my brother's 74 Vanagon reads "Van Go". Even has daisies on the spare tire cover.

Just sayin'

68

Well I did straighten out the "heat index" nonsense so I have that in my favor.

Only for you, dear. The rest of us continue to call it whatever we want.


Indiana is well known for slaughtering pronunciations of most everything.

And no more than anywhere else. Ever try to talk Bostonian? Or Bronxian? Or Appalachian? Or upper-midwestian?

If the people with whom the college professors are conversing understand them, where's the mispronunciation?


The attempt to enforce "General American English" via media spokesmodels is quickly becoming a thing of the past, as direct media such as ütoob bypasses the network and academic gatekeepers who once tried to enforce a blanded-out generic standard (thus devaluing and marginalizing regional dialects and the people who use them). Most of us (Dave excepted, I guess) have gradually gotten used to - and begun to appreciate - the wide and varied chorus of English speakers we now have access to, in all their range of accents, usages, idioms, and constructions. We're no longer encouraged to sound like Walter Cronkite in order to be heard.

Fer them whut cares:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...,

and particularly this:

Since calling one variety of American speech the "general" variety can imply privileging and prejudice, Kretzchmar instead promotes the term Standard American English, which he defines as a level of American English pronunciation "employed by educated speakers in formal settings", while still being variable within the U.S. from place to place, and even from speaker to speaker. However, the term "standard" may also be interpreted as problematically implying a superior or "best" form of speech. The term Standard North American English, in an effort to incorporate Canadian speakers under the accent continuum, was also first suggested by Boberg.

Modern language scholars discredit the original notion of General American as a single unified accent, or a standardized form of English—except perhaps as used by television networks and other mass media. Today, the term is understood to refer to a continuum of American speech, with some slight internal variation, but otherwise characterized by the absence of "marked" pronunciation features: those perceived by Americans as strongly indicative of a fellow American speaker's regional origin, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Despite confusion arising from the evolving definition and vagueness of the term General American and its consequent rejection by some linguists, the term persists mainly as a reference point to compare a baseline "typical" American English accent with other Englishes around the world (for instance, see: Comparison of General American and Received Pronunciation).

In any case, underestimate only at your peril the intelligence, mental acuity, and literacy of speakers of any version of English you happen not to consider "proper". Someone who is better-read in a variety of fields (and who has developed habits of thought to go with that reading) may reason circles around you and illustrate that you've come to a battle of wits unarmed - even if, because of a lack of standard models for the spoken word, her speech sounds ludicrous to you.

It's the conflation of spoken language attributes with intelligence - or even literacy - in popular perception that frosts my cornflakes. The two are not necessarily related.

69

Then there is the example of Scotland, a smallish country where folk of all kinds all claim to be "spikkin' anglish", yet following a conversation between a Glaswegian and an Aberdoonian will make the brains of even a sing-song Groater spin three ways from Sunday.

70

Language is undeniably viral (nods to W. Burroughs), whether through accepted slang terms, or dialects, inventing words out of necessity ('Hey, a new sub-atomic particle! What shall we call it?'). It's evolving all the time.

Correct speech is always the preference, but It does seem pretentious when someone is in mid-sentence and throws a perfect accent on some isolated word. There should be some allowance for wiggle room. Especially if it denies the French a good laugh from watching some tourist gag on their 'r's. Nobody wants that.

Personally, I wish I had a dollar for every Native-American based name that has been corrupted from mispronunciation. Rivers, mountains, towns, counties, cities, states, ..thousands of places in the United States, many historic, and with deep and beautiful meaning to their indigenous name. I suppose it could be argued the enduring name itself is a tribute to the natives and their language. But it's bemusing, sometimes even sonically irritating, to hear some blue-collar Chicagoan say; Milwaukee, or a guy in South Philly say; Schuylkill.

... The Chicago accent, firing on all cylinders;

71

I’ve been told Mick Jagger speaks English but darned if I can understand half of what he sings.

72

I’ve been told Mick Jagger speaks English but darned if I can understand half of what he sings.

– Suprdave

The irony of that is Mick Jagger sings with an American accent most of the time!

73

Leo called his invention a reeVERB unit.

74

As in reVERBeration.

75

Leo also called his vibrato a tremolo, and vice versa. Leo he no language expert.


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