The Corner

Occupiers and Accents

Toward the end of Impromptus today, I happen to mention Ann Arbor, Mich., my dear old lefty hometown. I’ve never done that before. Somehow, the spirit just moved me. Anyhow, here’s something I do not mention: Couple of days ago, I was conversatin’ with an Ann Arbor friend of mine. And he said, “Do you know there’s even an Occupy Ann Arbor? As though they haven’t been in charge of the place for as long as anyone can remember!”

Yeah — an Occupy Ann Arbor is like a special ballet company, set aside for thin people. (You can come up with your own, and better, analogies.)

Also in Impromptus, searching for relief from the grim topics of the world, I publish a letter on southern speech. It’s from a southern father who’s dismayed that his nine-year-old son doesn’t share his accent. They live in the South. The father blames TV.

He, the father, pronounces the word “well” with two syllables, just as God intends. He pronounces the word “whale” exactly as he pronounces “well.” The son thinks this is weird, which breaks the father’s heart.

His letter has triggered many other letters on southern speech, and I may share some of them later. A few are really hilarious. (One woman, now living in the North, orders French dressing in restaurants and gets ranch every time.) But I want to close this post by noting a store that a reader mentions: S&M Grocery, which is in Arab — pronounced AY-rab — Alabama.

A splendiferous country, if we can keep it.

P.S. This just in — a soldier who says that Anna Kournikova visited the troops in Kandahar two years ago, lifting the spirits of those present. In my column, I defend this beautiful and excellent tennis player, the maligning of whom is a joke (as I explain). (I even cite a column from 2001 — long time ago, as the song says.)


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