Dec 29, 2006

Pra – nun – si - yay - shun.

I had tuned into one of the western music frequencies on radio yesterday. The RJ was chirpy and all that jazz, and the playlist was something that I could use to flavour my cuppa. Just then, the RJ decided to get democratic, and introduced a request section in his show. Someone requested for Greenday, and the RJ consents gladly, and announces through ether, “Up next, we have Greendayyy with booolivart of brookin dreemzz. What a song, the booolivart of brookin dreeemzzzz.” Cant help wondering whether the dude had actually listened to the song. Attempting to sport an accent is alright, but that doesn’t give one the liberty to go retching over a word like boulevard.
I ,for one, have waged a losing battle against the vagaries of pronunciation that characterize the English language. Being a South Indian, and having been brought up in a household where a word in English is uttered only when one runs out of expletives in the native language, much of my vocabulary originated from books and other such reading material. The dictionary with its encoded pronunciation guidelines was seldom used, semantic guessing games, adding more fun for dear old lazy bones. Indisposed to watching movies and TV shows (baring a few light sitcoms), the opportunity for me to hear the spoken language, was reduced to Spartan levels.
This reminds me of an incident that took place sometime back in college. There was this lady, who happened to hail from an affluent background, and was a very cosmopolitan, globe-trotter. An avid reader herself, we had the opportunity to have a few extra-curricular interactions, (despite the obvious mis-match of our backgrounds) due to the fact that our names were adjacent on the roll. (That’s the best thing about college, people from different strata can jam in.., although differences still remain).. On one such occasion, fully engrossed in the conversation, I happened to say something which made her go gaga with laughter. And mind you, this girl had a very high pitched and shrill laugh, which came out in bursts and peals. A sizeable crowd had gathered to join in the merry making, leaving me confused and flabbergasted. When she had finally calmed down, and was able to speak again, she asked me to repeat my self. Nervously, I obliged. “ I used to be a fan of detective novels and stories of yes-pi-yo-nay-jjj. And Lo!, another shot of laughing gas went up her system. I was almost on the verge of tears. Then she explained herself. And showed me how to pronounce espionage with a franco-greeko-latino tint to the na`and the ge… I didn’t bother to check it up in the dictionary and took her well traveled and worldly wise expertise as a reliable reference.
But the maxim, once bitten twice shy finds an exception in me. I still venture out with tongue twisting words, which I still don’t bother to learn how to pronounce, and still end up in embarrassing situations. But the espionage incident taught me a valuable lesson in life. A mistake made is always a lesson learnt.
So folks, keep making mistakes and learning more valuable lessons in the year to come. Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Here is a joke.{with No offence meant to any one}
It is said that American Doctors are taking tuition in Malayalam, so that they can understand the English spoken by the SIMBLY south.
But the twang is foxing them.g

EnGeetham aka "My Song!" said...

True blood southie ! You had written "yes-pi...". We are definitely proud in pro-noun-sing alphabets as ...yel, yem, yen...
... and 'nayan' out of ten tie-yums, i'd do that !
:) ;)
Have a good 2007 !!

Shrinath said...

hey, ten odd days late, but Happy New Year!!
haffun and keep posting :)

The Soliloquist said...

@g : :-)
@ engeetham : hehe... thanks..
@shrinath: thanks.. and u keep visiting.. mr. busy bee.. :-)