[Ads-l] WRT arnold's "Mishearings"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 8 02:52:50 UTC 2015


Reminiscing with my wife, I was telling her about a Chigro who schooled me
in the art of the altar boy, back in the St. Louis day.

W. [...] Roy Ming [...]

B. "Roy ming"? What's that?

W. His name: "Roy Ming."

B. What are you saying? Is it "Roy" something?

W. Yes. "Roy. *Ming*."

B. Huh?

"Roy *Ming*!" You know. "Ming"! Like *Ming* dynasty or *Ming* vase.

B. Oh. I thought that you were saying "Meeng," like, m-e-e-n-g.


WTF? That *was* what I was saying: "M[i]ng"! And she couldn't understand
what word I was saying, because of that?

I had a similar problem in Phonetics 101. I asked the prof why he had
"corrected" my phoneticization of "thing" with [i] to "thing" with [I]. He
replied that "th[i]ng" sounded unusually and unnaturally high, but, if I
pronounced -ing/ink that way, then I could phoneticize it that way. Since
the point of the task was to phoneticize a list of words in your own
idiolect and since, IMO, my pronunciation of "thing" was "standard," I
decided that I must be, somehow, mishearing my own speech. So, for the last
many dekkids, I've always written/typed [I] and not [i], in the relevant
environment, regardless of whether I was representing my own idiolect, even
though it was *other* people's speech that I was mishearing, given that I
(still) don't notice any difference between other people's -ing/-ink and my
version. And my wife had never been confused before, because context had
been sufficient. But there was no context for "royMeeng."

Youneverknow.


-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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