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.)

Most Popular

Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capital versus Tucker Carlson

Advertisers do not advertise on Tucker Carlson’s show to endorse the views of Tucker Carlson. They advertise on his show for the same reason they advertise elsewhere: a captive audience — in Tucker’s case, the second-largest one in cable news — might spare thirty seconds of attention that will, they hope, ... Read More
Natural Law

Are Your Sexual Preferences Transphobic?

Last year, a study exploring “transgender exclusion from the world of dating” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Of nearly 1,000 participants, the overwhelming majority, 87.5 percent, irrespective of their sexual preference, said they would not consider dating a trans person, ... Read More