November 20, 2016
I got up at six and left Emerald Isle around seven-thirty. For the second departure in a row, Addison, my fearless-uber-alpha-girl-dog, shivered on top of the ottoman as we rolled down the road. She's wasn't cold, so she must have been scared, but I can't figure out why. She's been docile (but not needy) since we arrived; uncharacteristically, she hasn't chased Jasper off my lap. Dog psychology...bark, bark.
How long is the media going to discuss the election? Donald J. Trump won. Fake news on FaceBook and Russian hacking didn't swing the election: Trump did. Trumps did what I do: if I don't like the game, or if its rules are flexible, I change the game or flex the rules. That's how you win. If it isn't forbidden by law or ethics, it can be done. Releasing tax returns and behaving like a gentle person are not laws, they are election conventions. Both Trump and Clinton had legal problems during the election which should have made them both questionable candidates, but Trump's were outside "the swamp" and America wanted it drained: Clinton was in the flush. It's getting boring, America: move on. Now, the only thing that matters is the cabinet appointments.
I listened to Kurt Andersen of “Studio 360” interview Josh Katz about his "How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk" quiz. It was in the New York Times three years ago, and now he’s written a book about it. The quiz is 25 questions which have sufficient regional variance among them that from the answers he can calculate any person's likely US origin (he's an actuary by training).
I was born in Key West, left there for Philadelphia when I was two-and-a half where I attended nursery school and kindergarten, then I moved to rural Upstate New York. Save a year in school in England at 14, I lived in New York State for the entirety of my grade-school, high-school, college, and graduate school years. My mother was born in Halifax, but she was raised in various places in Canada. My father was born and raised in Philadelphia. There is nothing about my mother's speech pattern which would indicate her origin, but if you ask my father to say "water" you'll know he's from Philly in a New York minute. I didn't pick up the Upstate New York nasal twang probably because my parents weren't natives.
I took Josh's 25 question quiz twice tonight, and my answers suggested that I am from somewhere in the Northeast megalopolis. Changing answers from one attempt to another will vary the questions which ensue. Again, the quiz attempts to pinpoints one’s origin based on vocabulary not accent. My dad is going to get nailed on "hoagie.”
Kurt Andersen went on to do a piece about how the Boston accent is the Waterloo of actors because very few can do it well. Having lived in Rhode Island and worked in Massachusetts for a decade, I called the area the "Land of Misplaced R's." If your name is Linda, it's pronounced Linder, and if your name is Tyler, it's pronounced Tyla, i.e. if it ends in an "r" you drop it, and if it ends in a vowel you add an “r.” People from the area who have overcome this speech habit slip right back into it upon the consumption of alcohol.
I just called my father to ask him if he is watching the Eagles lose. He said it was a foregone conclusion so he turned it off. He said the Katz quiz kept erroring-out on him. He said he'd try out again, but he agreed he'd get nailed for "hoagie." He also agreed that I didn't have a regional accent.
The real reason I called my father was to ask him the exact dates he and my mother lived in Charleston. I was born in December of 1964, so I wondered whether I was conceived here. He said they lived here in the summer of 1963, and again in January-February of 1964. I was looking for a personal nexus to Charleston, but alas I have none.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.