Friday, January 20, 2012

Enunciation (Or How An Accent Changes Things)

Attention:  This post contains language that I don't use...Except that I'm having to tell a story.

And the story just isn't the same without direct quotes.

And they use the word in the Bible.

So surely that makes it okay.

Yesterday's post about Rasslin' made me think about accents.

And that made me think of my dear friend Jennifer.  She's from Tyler, Texas and her accent is quite catching.

So catching that when we lived in Texas Grace said such words as "hotayel" instead of "hotel."  Since I didn't tend to add extra accents to my vowels, I could only blame such things on Jennifer...

Anyhoo.  We lived in Arlington, TX for eight years.  And for six of those eight years, I worked at a hospital in Fort Worth.  Two years as a nursing student, and the last four as an RN.

One day Melody (one of my fellow RNs) and I were standing in the medication room, drawing up medications in syringes and doing all sorts of other "nursey" type things.  Things that require the UTMOST attention to detail, so I'm QUITE certain that there was just NO way we were discussing our precious new baby girls who were mere weeks apart...

I'm sure we were discussing cardiac rhythms and fluid overload and uncontrolled diabetes...Or some other lofty, most excellent and invigorating subject.

But the POINT is that we were in the medication room.

And we were possibly chatting.

And then a respiratory therapist stuck her head around the corner (this was before the days when medication rooms became required to have locked doors) and said, "Hey guys, where do y'all keep your ass?"

Melody and I froze.  We slowly turned and looked at her.  Two heads turning, eyes widening...

"Excuse me?"

"Where do y'all keep your ass?"

There was a beat of silence.

"Our whaaaat?"  And we both began to slowly turn our heads to look over our shoulders at our, well...Our backside...

"Your ass!  Your ass!!  Where do you keep your ASS?"

And suddenly Melody, who was Texas born and bred said, "Oh my gosh!  Ice!  You are looking for our ice!"

And we both broke into peals of laughter.

I'm not sure if we answered her between gasps of hilarity, and gestures to our behinds, and broken phrases of "Oh my gosh" and "I thought she was saying ass" and "me too!"

And then we laughed some more.

As the day progressed we'd be working along, bustling this way and that up and down the halls, in and out of rooms.  We'd happen to enter a door at the same time, and then our eyes would meet and one of us would say "ice" and the laughter would start all over again.

We dined on that request for ice for months to follow.

Strangely, the respiratory therapist never seemed to find the humor in the situation.


gianna said...

priceless! That is so priceless!

That's like my friend from work--one day we suddenly said, "Who was Eli Whitney?"

And for the rest of the day, we spent searching the internet for a history lesson.

Okay, so no it's not the same as ice.

But to this day (when we see each and it's not very often), one of us might say, "Eli Whitney!"
And the other will say, "Didn't he invent something?"
And the other will say, "Yeah, the cotton gin! What did that do anyway?"

Okay so it was nothing like ice.

Emily Sue said...

Ha - love it! I had no idea what the punchline here would be, since Australians don't say ass (except for the animal). We say arse ... but of course Australians don't pronounce the 'r' the way you do either, so it's more like "ahhse". Trust me, not nearly as posh-sounding as you would think.

Crazy Sister said...

Love the Texas accent whenever it's on movies. I was never a fan of that show The OC, but I saw the final episode, and a lady was worried about going on a plane ride when she was fully pregnant. This helpful old Texan said,(and you have to hear the accent) "Now don't you worry about a thang, my son'll go with ya - he's one of those Doctors for Ladies' Private Parts."

Wouldn't have sounded so hilarious without that drawl!

Dawn said...

Before the days of email and telephones in our library, we received a written telephone message from the office that another school library in our district wanted information on "Youth in Asia." After spending a day looking and pondering and discussing what on earth they wanted to know about Asian Youth, we finally said it aloud fast enough to realize they really wanted info on Euthanasia...... Not as funny as a Texas accent, but still!

NaomiG said...

Haha! That is great. My youngest sort of had a texas accent when she was first learning to talk. Also, her very favorite food is ice cream. I giggled every time she asked for "ahss cream peez!".

KiteFlyer said...

Yeah, not as funny as ass/ice, but I have a Canadian friend who couldn't understand why convenience stores were named "EZ Shops". In Canada, the letter Z is pronounced "zed." Eee-Zed Shop means nothing....

Amy said...


Being a Texas native my accent used to attract attention from my new classmates. This happened in 1983 when I joined Mrs. Waugh's second grade class. I will never forget Cindy asking me why I talked funny. How does a second grader respond to such a question? Nevertheless I lost much of my Texas accent after a few years in Oklahoma and then regained it after returning to my birth state. I am just glad I do not write like I talk!