Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Roger on that orange

Back in August, Eric, in a comment to a post on Phonoloblog about vowels, mentioned that I have the best argument for pronouncing the o in words like orange and Florida with an [a:] rather than an [ɔ:]. As far as I can tell most Americans are like Eric in using the [ɔ:] pronunciation in these words. It’s only a select few of us east coasters that use the much more correct [a:].

Eric summarizes the argument quite nicely:

By the way, the title of this strip is also worth commenting on. My grad school classmate Ed Keer and I used to argue about the pronunciation of the underlined vowel orange (and other words, like Florida): I (from around San Francisco) have something like [ɔ:], Ed (from around Philadelphia) has something like [a:]. Ed had the best argument for the correctness of his pronunciation, though: the following knock-knock joke works better if you pronounce orange with [a:]:
Knock-knock. Who’s there? Banana. Banana who? Knock-knock. Who’s there? Banana. Banana who?
[… this goes one for a little while longer, the number of times being inversely proportionate to your age or directly proportionate to the amount of alcohol you’ve imbibed.]
Knock-knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? <b>Orange you glad I didn’t say “banana” again?</b> [I have to disagree with Eric’s use of again here. It totally reduces the punchline of the joke by explaining too much. I would leave it out—Ed]

I totally thank Eric for giving me the shout out. But, I’ve been keeping an even better argument up my sleeve: The greatest rock band ever uses my pronunciation. If you listen closely to The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again you will clearly hear in the line: The morals that they worshipped will be gone that Roger* pronounces moral with an [a:]. Case closed.
* I am assuming it’s Roger singing this. If not, don’t write in to tell me that it’s Pete. I just don’t care that much.

4 comments:

Eric said...

1. Of course it's Roger.

2. I have to disagree with The Who's use of again in the title of this song. It totally makes them sound like they've been fooled before. I would leave it out.

3. You do realize that your argument here is that you talk more like a Brit than I do, right? ;-)

4. Googling for the lyrics you cite, I found that the top hit is this page from a totally bizarre white power music site.

5. I rest my case.

liberal elite said...

Fucking Screwdriver.

As to point 3, what about all those claims that Brits try to sound like Americans when they sing?

g said...

no, no, it's oarnge!

Eric said...

OK, you can have point 3. See if I care.

(More here.)

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