Monday, October 12, 2009

Speak to Me

Hello. Before we begin, I'd like you to read this word aloud.


Say that again.




Right. If you're from anywhere in Ameri-stan you're probably off on a tangent about soccer practice, Sarah Palin or the mess the Mexican lunch is going to make later. If you're from my nick of the woods, you're thinking of the eggshell on wheels Maruti Omni - the car that could literally break into a million little pieces on a 2mph impact.

My post has nothing to do with either of them. I found a cheap couch online, and decided to go pick it up. I usually avoid SUV owners, I don't like wasting my time on douchebags. So the only option I had was rental. I've used uhaul several times before, but considering the mileage ($0.59 per mile plus gas) involved in making a roundtrip I wasn't too thrilled with the prospect.

Turns out that home depot has a pretty sweet deal going for it. You pick up a truck/van for $20, it's yours for 75 mins and $10 for every hour after. No charges for mileage. The distance was just enough for a round trip under 75 mins. Until I hit accent-hell.

Not every home depot rents out vans, and I had to call and ask. I can pull off a pretty good mid-western accent, and a decent southern accent if I'm bored. However, there are certain words that sneak through unchanged, or worse still, badly mangled by the covered up Indian accent. Van, is one such word.

Every single conversation I had a few nights ago went like this

Home Depot, how may I help?
Yeah, I need a van.
A what?
Truuuuuck! (Larry the cable guy would have been proud).
Oh ok...

Turns out us brown folk say van with a soft "v", which makes it sound "wan". The shock and surprise in some of the girls' tones makes sense now.

Next day, I asked my WASP boss to pronounce "van", and he did so wondering if he had a mental breakdown coming. When I told him about the scene from the night, he opined "well, that's understandable, there's a discernable difference. But if they didn't understand when you spelt it out, gotta say - you were dealing with retards".

Right. Anyway, the couch looks great, matches the one I had like a lost twin.


Purely Narcotic said...

My favorite pastime when I meet fellow Bangalorean friends who still say fillum when no one's looking and and squeeze in a 'da' on a good day: Pronounce Wine, Vine, Whine. Ok, Now say water!

Nine times out of ten they will all say vine for wine-vine-whine and vawter for water.

shenanigans said...

I got tired of being teased while ordering a vodka tonic and finally mended my ways with a little help from an English ex. Bring your upper lip down on your bottom one as if you were biting it and say Vodka! It comes out 'v' not 'w' and works, every time :-)

Thanatos said...

@Narcotic : I'll be 9 out of 10 too ;)

@Shenanigans : Right, I've never had a problem with vodka, that should set a great example!