-og words

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Wed Jun 19 15:59:59 UTC 2002

On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Dennis R. Preston wrote:

#Of course I understood; I was just pointing out the socio-regional
#provenience of most of those who are the butts of such jokes (and how
#incredulous those who are not are when they are told their speech is
#somehow not "perfect" - crap I put up with in Michigan, the
#locally-attested center of correct US English, every day).
#You *did* understand what I was doing too didn't you?

I wasn't entirely sure.

I try hard, in all parts of my life, not to make ANYONE the butt of
ridicule on the basis of something they can't help, such as where
they're from, what language they speak, what "race" they are perceived
as belonging to, and so on. (OTOH I enjoy "dumb crook" stories, such as
the bank robber who wrote his holdup note on the back of his own deposit

The texts I'm talking about, that I use, aren't meant as putdowns, nor,
I think, perceived as such by the people I tell them to. If I find a
good tale in a collection such as Jane Yolen's collection of folk tales
from around the world, or that classic _Pissing in the Snow_ -- I'm
thinking in particular of "Old Dry Fry", and I don't recall offhand what
source I was reading it from -- and such a tale is strongly rooted in
its place of (apparent) origin, I feel wrong telling it in entirely my
own voice and accent, especially when the tale as written in the text is
all in a style, vocabulary, usages, etc., that ring of the place. I
displace my speech from my real self in what I think will be perceived
as the direction of the place where the story is set. This is part of
the performance.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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