Progress notes for 3 April 2006:
"Gretchen & Tamara Go Bowling" (which needs a real title, since there's no bowling in this story, except metaphorically)
New Words: 859
Total Words: 2210
Deadline: April 20
Reason for stopping: I know what has to happen, but I have no idea how Pinky manages it.
Exercise: Yesterday, I walked all over Cambridge with mevennen &c, and also wandered through London and part of the British Library with fjm. Today, I thought very hard about going for a walk and instead I napped.
Today's words Word don't know: palmful
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Mean Things: The cold water made Tamara's teeth hurt. Also, the end of her little world.
Tyop du jour: n/a
Darling du jour: Tamara had been all for eating him in the parking lot, but Gretchen had thought it better to wait.
Books in progress: Dhalgren, Samuel Delany
Interesting tidbit of the day: n/a
Other writing-related work: wrote up lots of notes on Cambridge. As you saw.
I had dinner last night with fjm and friends at a really lovely Middle Eastern restaurant where they fed us many delicious little plates of things. Over the course of the meal, and a really interesting conversation--which almost resulted in drawn daggers when f. and Elizabeth Counihan began discussing the relative merits of Heinlein vs. Le Guin--it came out that for f., many of my vowel sounds blur together. Even when I'm making an effort toward clear pronunciation and elocution.
This entertained me, because I normally think of myself as a reasonably precise speaker of Standard American English, with a few regional habits such as saying "quahtuh" for that thing that is one-fourth of a dollar, and rhyming aunt and ant. (Standard New England accent, one each, on the very light side.) Before seven years in the southwest played hobb with my -ings, even those were pronounced (and I'm trying to retrain myself; I had to learn to drop them a bit because otherwise I got a very chilly reaction from people in Nevada in general.) and I've been mistaken for somebody who learned English as a second language, because if anything I tend to overpronounce.
So, for fjm, in particular, my pronunciation of "Pern" and "porn" had a commonality. And Dr. Counihan thought the same of how I said "fox" and that other f word we name the F-Word. Whereas I put them in quite different places in my mouth, and to me they sound very different.
On the other hand, I'm not having too hard of a time picking out the sense in the various accents I'm hearing. Of course, I have experience: britgeekgrrl used to lose me entirely, and now I understand her quite clearly. I do okay with katallen's Yorkshire, and whatever the heck that is that autopope speaks. *ducks*
mevennen's RP was perfectly clear to me, and I don't think she had any problem with my American, but the cab driver who brought me to Magdalene College had a deal of a time figuring out what I was saying until I spelled it for him--and yes, I knew to pronounce it "Maudlin," because Liz warned me. And I couldn't hear a difference between his pronunciation, and mine, other than sort of small dipthongy things.
So I'm totally on the other side of the language barrier. But muddling along. Consciously code-switching a bit where I remember (lorry, not truck; car park, not parking lot; god help me bum bag and not fanny pack; the one I keep messing up is "pants." *eyeroll*)
Good job I can spell.