Sunday, December 21, 2008

You say tomAYto, I bite your head off

Dear Fellow Americans,

Please stop referring to the city of Melbourne, Australia, as "Melbin."
Here's why: it's called "Melbourne," and you, rather fittingly, speak with an American accent. Thus, reason would dictate that your pronunciation would sound more or less like "MEL-burn." Because even if you are Southern and don't really believe in the letter R, it still would not sound like "Melbin," now, would it? Wouldn't it be something along the lines of "Mehhhl-buhhhhn"? Well, I can tell you what it shouldn't sound like. It shouldn't sound like "Melbin."

You people married to Aussies, you're not off the hook, either. Stop it. It makes you sound like you're putting on airs, like you're soooo in with the Aussies that you are practically one of them, don't you know, and also makes you seem very Sweetie Dahling, you know? Plus, the awesome bonus of no one knows what you are talking about because we the people don't really believe in learning geography, do we? Also, it makes it disconcertingly difficult for me not to put on the worst impersonation of the Crocodile Dundee guy for you and insist you throw another shrimp on the barbie, JUST TO MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE ON LIKE EIGHT DIFFERENT LEVELS. And it doesn't need to come to that, does it? That benefits no one.



Erica said...

I am going to ring you up and say Melbourne over and over and over. I'll hold the receiver far away so you can't bite my head off. :)

Emma said...

Nononono, YOU are allowed to say it however you like! Do you know why? Because you're Australian. Because you're NOT an American trying to sound awesome, see? It would be like if you insisted on pronounced "Dublin" in a terrible Irish accent!

Actually, please ring me up and say whatever you want, it's been way too long since we chatted!

Michael said...

Ohhh, I see. You're like that.

I say /melborn/ with a little bit of lip rounding on the /or/. Like the Bourne Conspiracy.

Unless I'm feeling playful and want to bug someone like you. (smile) Then I say /melbun/ with some lip retraction (smile again) on the /uh/.

Emma said...

Michael, yes; I am like that. (See label on post re: "Uptight Jerk Dept.") However, given your mentions of lip rounding/lip retraction, I'm going to guess that this does not represent much of a deterrant for you. ;o)

P said...


(Sorry I can't say anything more articulate than that - I'm laughing too hard.)

Anne-Marie said...

Actually, Melbourne is probably a Scottish word so you could insist everyone pronounces it with a Scottish accent...?

Anyway, I have no sympathy for pronouncing Aussie words correctly. Everyone - that is, everyone on our side of the Tasman Sea - knows they talk wrong.

Emma said...

You make a good point, Anne-Marie, but ... FIGHT! FIGHT! Erica, are you going to let that stand?


Emma said...

Oh, and P -- nice to be on the giving end for once. ;)