Sunday, August 17, 2008

You Say Tomato.....

For dh and I, premarital counseling told us we were compatible but missed one important detail. Both Ohioans, we assumed we had the same accent and pronounciation of important words. Like syrup. But dh was from northeastern Ohio, whereas I, Junosmom, was from southwestern Ohio. And over pancakes one day, the exact day is lost to history, we discovered that I pronounced the word, "seer-up", which caused dh to laugh, for surely it is "sirr-up". I protested, but right or wrong, I have found that my children have somehow been indoctrinated with his position, and laugh at me. I'm not sure how that happened, given that I spend every waking moment with them and they ought to be grateful.

Educated in Ohio, I was brought up to believe that Ohio was on the "right side" of the Civil War and that I was a "Northerner". Imagine my surprise when I found, shortly after marriage, that my new inlaws considered me, now a Kentuckian, a Southerner, and wanted my recipe for pecan pie. I was aghast! I was not a Southerner. Now, I laugh. I am indeed more southern than northern. Or at least, based on my recent trip to New York, I do know that a red light means STOP, not stop after at least five cars have slipped through the intersection.

But the accent has made me realize there are real differences between the corners of Ohio. For example, I loved the name Lauren and knew almost no one named that (and of course later learned that everyone born that year was given that name). It was perhaps not the wisest choice, for I didn't know until we began using it on my beautiful child, that dh and family called her "Lor-en", much different from my family and I that called her "Law-ren". For family harmony, I've given on her name, but still enjoy seer-up on my pancakes.

The latest is our van, knicknamed "Eugene". Dds insist "he" is "u-GENE" and laughed at my pronunciation, "U-gene". We got on this topic with a friend one night while watching our sons play baseball. Lauren and I appealed to her for a pronunciation. What were the odds? She had once lived in "u-GENE", Oregon.

How about you? Do you pour seer-up or sirr-up on your pancakes?


whitetr6 said...

At least, since you're now a couple of hours outside of Cincinnati, I presume no one around you is saying "Please?" when they really mean, "Excuse me, can you repeat that?"

I guess I'm a hybrid. I certainly say sirr-up, but have always also said Law-ra, or Law-ren. I beautiful name, no matter how ya slice it.

My mom speaks the Queen's English, while dad was raised a Southern Oh farm boy. Surely wars have been fought over lesser differences :-)

Robin said...

Too funny! Welcome dahling, to the right side of the war of "northun agression"'s a primer for you..."you haih color and your bosom may be fake but your chinah and yo silva must always be re-al."

Sorry southun wannabe, it's sirrup...and it's a crEEK, not a "crick" as my Kansas SE says! LOL...Just so you know...sirr-up is the "correct" pronunciation in the maybe your husband has somthing in the woodpile he'd rather not discuss?

Tell him you have it on good authority from a true belle! I also, by the way, have a recipe for pecan pie but I can tell you this, I've never made it! I make bierocks for chrissakes! But as a right of heritage, I have it!

Trust me being a belle is hard but I am ready and willing to educate you in the social mores!

#1) You must have two last names as part of your name, like Juno Siddons Mama. In like Robin Blynn Flynn!

If you want more from my southern belle primma just let me know. Texas isn't close enough to the "true" south but I will have you a member of the the Daughters of the American Revolution before you can sneeze (ladylike of course!).

Isn't it amazing that we still continue judgements on geography, skin color etc...?

I remember one of Bob Mayers blogs, he's traveled extensively (army does that to ya) and he remarked that he rode on the subway in NY and saw all the different cultures that were AMERICANS! You don't see that in other countries...they all look the same but here in the good ole US of do. And we still judge someone by their accent.

"I swe-aht, it boggles the mind..."honey! Get a dishrag and wash that babies face! You want people to think we're nasty!".....

Love, love, love it!

The Seasons of Life said...

Well, dear cousin, as I am also originally from SW Ohio, I say "seer-up" and "Law-ren," but I no longer say "Please?" when I mean "excuse me, can you repeat that?" I think of dear Aunt Loraine, as she always said "Please" in that context.

Since I have lived most of my life in South Florida, and of late, East Tennessee, most people from your neck of the woods I presume, would refer to me as Southern. However, my East Tenn neighbors assure me I am not Southern, but a yankee (expletive deleted). I laughingly tell them I am from South Cinti, as indeed we lived on 3rd street when I was born, can't get much closer to the River than that!

When I first moved to Florida (1973), I was told "I" had the accent, and no one understood me when I said "pony keg" meaning the local 7-11, or "pop" meaning a soda, like Coke.

That outgrown, I now say y'all, yung'uns, ya reckon, hey (instead of hello), and we all say "you okay?" when we mean, "Hello, how are you?"

Enjoyed your story.

Have a blessed day!

pita-woman said...

Wow, some serious long comments to that blog.
Born & raised in southern Indiana the 1st 20 years of my life, and spent the last 20 years in Louisville, KY (Loo-uh-vul), I figure I don't really belong to the north or the south, but just comfortably in the middle (the gray area).
I'm afraid I have to agree with your husband on the pronunciation of Syrup & Lauren, but I'm in agreement with you on Eugene.
I frequently hear a certain person I spend 8 hours a day with mis-pronounce words, & it finally got to the point I'd get the dictionary out and show her the correct pronunciation, but I suppose her northern genes (from northern New York) are firmly rooted & some things just can't be changed.
As for me, ya'll kin say whatcha want, I luv lissenin' to my southern kinfolk talk. My family in Alabama & Georgia crack me up with their "futher" (farther) and "rurnt" (ruined).

Junosmom said...

Mark: I, to this day, remember your mom's elegant accent. "Please" has been a blog in the queue.

Robin: I think you ought to write a book: What You Need to Know to Be a Southern Belle. Bestseller.

Cousin: I wonder if some of this comes from our dear grandparents?

PITA: So I wonder where my seer-up came from? Accents are fun.

Flock Fold Kids said...

I like the STOP light reference. The kids fussed as me for going through a yellow light the other day. I reminded them that in the metro D.C. area if you stopped on yellow you would get rear-ended!

chuckmccky said...

When you were growing up and eating all thay "seer-up" and never even dreaming about a van named "U-gene" and even less about having a daughter named "Law-ren" did you live in "Cin·cin·nati" or "Cin·cin·nat-ah"?

Junosmom said...

FlockFold: There is a marked difference in driving in different regions. In KY, you can get a ticket for going through yellow.

Chuck: It is Cin-cin-na-TI. I used to bristle when I heard Cin-cin-na-TA. I've mellowed though. And moved. Now, I have to hold my tongue (literally) when pronouncing the name of the nearest big city.


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