Today, I heard the assistant ask another assistant, “How do you spell ‘too much’? Is it t-o-o?”
We’ve all had brain farts but to brain fart on a three letter word? Once I stared at the word ‘special’ at a grocery store and swore it was misspelt. ‘Special’ is understandable. It’s got that soft ‘c’ and the ‘e’ and the ‘ia’ thing going. ‘Too’ has two letters. A second grader can’t mistake ‘to’ for ‘two’ or ‘too’.
So I googled spelling demons and found a list of homophones and their definitions. Did you know that people mistake ‘paw’ ‘poor’ and ‘pour’? ‘There’ ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ is understandable. ‘Paw’ ‘poor’ and ‘pour’? Ok, maybe in Boston.
I’ve been told I have a strange accent. It’s a mix of Bronx, Boston and a weird Midwestern mix that can only be taught through years of speech, debate and journalism classes. You think that’s weird, you should hear me speak Chinese. Lrudlrick can’t understand why ‘Boston’ comes out ‘Bah-ston’ instead of ‘Baw-ston’. With this strange mix of influences, I still am able to properly pronounce and distinguish between a cat’s foot and being destitute.
Years ago, I had a manager that had the worst accent every imaginable for an Asian woman. Firstly, she wasn’t an immigrant but she still had a sing-songy tinge to her speech. Add a Brooklyn-like accent and the high pitched voice of a Powerpuff girl and you’re close. My co-worker and I would take turns translating what she was trying to convey.
“Who made da dirt dee copies?”
”No one. It’s set to make one copy only.
“No. Der arr dirt dee copies on da copier.”
”No, there aren’t.”
pg: She wants to know who made the dirty copies.
”Oh. That was Jim."
Don’t ask what the dirty copies were. It wasn’t even dirty, maybe a little smutty but definitely not dirty.
Cadence troubles me. NY’ers have a tendency to speak fast, walk fast and eat fast. So I’m willing to give non-NY’ers a break but if I’ve finished my dirty water dog, drink and mustard pretzel before you’ve gotten your point out, we’ve got issues. My cousin from Milwaukee visited last week. I love him to death but the first day we were speaking caused cogs to halt in my brain. I could feel vessels popping. To make it worse, we were speaking via cell phone with shoddy reception.
When we finally got together, we sat on the couch and did the catch up talk. Throughout this talk, I patiently listened. I kept telling myself to be patient. At one point, I pictured myself inserting a crank handle onto his neck and winding him up like a Jack-in-the-Box. By the time we went to MoMA, my brain was able to slow itself down.
Now I’m not saying my cousin is slow. On the contrary, he’s not ‘Franks and Beans’ slow. Again, it’s that NY’ers are always rushing and if you scanned a NY brain during a normal day in the life of a NY’er, you will see two little hamsters running their little tiny hearts out in their wheels. When you suddenly tell them to slow down, they get confused. One goes fast, the other goes slow. That folks, is a migraine.
In any case, while sitting on the couch, I realized just how crazy a NY’ers life is and we don’t realize it. Our senses get hit with so much, I’m surprised we don’t get sensory overload. No wonder we don’t notice the person sitting next to us on the train was picking his nose for over ten minutes. No wonder I didn’t notice the giant pothole I stepped into last night nearly breaking my ankle. Since my cousin has left, my hamsters have returned to the regular schedule, peddling their hearts.
I'll leave you with the last thing heard at work today, “She said ‘peddle-stool’ instead of pedestal. Hahahahha.”