Assignment: The Way You Say Things

Friday, November 12, 2010

Every  Monday, we give you an assignment to record audio or video, or take a picture on our iPhone app. Every Friday, we put together the best submissions and talk about them on the air.

This week, the words you say that you think are different from the way everyone else says them.

Accents differ from place to place and change from time to time. We’re tracking them with your help. And at Yale University, they just started a project where they’re trying to track dialects across all of North America.

Takeaway digital editor Jim Colgan curates some of the submissions and shows how the way he pronounces his words gets in the way of buying movie tickets.

Here are some of the examples you’ve been sending us through the app:

Jim from Philadelphia, Penn.

I live in Philadelphia area and I say WUT-er. I drink WUT-er, I WUT-er my plants with WUT-er. I lived in Columbus, Ohio for several years and I was always made fun for that. They would say, Jim do you want some WUT-EHR? But I was able to make fun of them for saying POP instead of Soda.

Simone from Miami, Fla.

Yesterday, one of my co-workers was calling a Cuban restaurant to order lunch. And over and over she kept saying, Chef Salad. And the waitress said, all we have is Caesar Salad. And finally she said, Ensalada De Chef. And the waitress knew exactly what she was talking about.

Daniel from Miami

I’ve been told that my pronunciation of the word ROYAN is completely wrong. R-U-I-N, and that I have completely ruined the word.

And here’s Takeaway digital editor Jim Colgan’s experience with Fandango’s voice-activated service and the trouble it has understanding his Irish accent.

FANDANGO: Main menu. Say a movie name
JIM: 127 Hours
FANDANGO: Again please?
JIM: 127 Hours
FANDANGO: Say a movie name? Or say new releases.
JIM: 127 Hours
FANDANGO: 127 Hours
JIM: Yay.
FANDANGO: Here's a list of theaters.AMC Loewes Lincoln Square
JIM: AMC Loewes
FANDANGO: What was that?
JIM: AMC Loewes
FANDANGO: Sorry, I'm having trouble understanding.

Guests:

Jim Colgan

Comments [1]

Michael levay from Staten Island

On Staten Island our local newspaper has two pronunciations.

Some people say the Staten Island AD-van-ce, while others say the Staten Island ad-VAN-ce.

Nov. 08 2010 04:33 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.