Monday, September 13, 2010

Hey Massachusetts, what's the deal?

I was driving out to western Massachusetts yesterday to play some soccer with my boys Colin and Pete at our annual NMH alumni game, when I came to a strange realization: Massachusetts can't pronounce anything right. Nevermind the Bahhston accent, and pahhking the cahhh wherever that saying says to, I'm talking about simple spelling and diction. Who made the pronunciation key for the towns in Mass? I mean it took me a while to figure out Worcester was actually "wooster" when I was little, but I didn't realize that was a trend for the whole state (Leominster is "lemon-stir"...really?). Anyways, I drafted up a little letter to the Massachusetts Authority of Language in hopes of shedding light on Massachusetts' pronunciation shortcomings. Here's to me taking life too seriously ha.
.. .. ..
Dear MAL,
We the people of the rest of the United States of America are deeply concerned for the English language's safety in your Commonwealth. While we understand that the language rarely follows consistent rules grammatically and phonetically, it does not mean that your state can make up its own pronunciation and spelling rules entirely. To put it eloquently the English language is a page in a coloring book, and while sometimes it's acceptable to color a little bit outside of the lines, it is not ok to color squigglies in random corners like you are. How did you turn Haverhill into "Hey-vrill"? That's like turning a cow into steak, you butchered it. And Quincy into "Quin-zee"? It really sounds like the town is named after a South Shore rapper rather than an American hero. Gloucester (Glaws-ter), Chatham (Chad-um), Billericka (Bill-rick-a), the list goes on. The language confusion has grown so severe, we feel it's time to take drastic (dra-stick) action (act-shun). From now on your towns will be numbered, starting with Boston as #1 and working its way outward. We figure there's no possible way you can mispronounce numbers, please don't prove us wrong. Massachusetts, we're sorry to abruptly foist this upon you, but it's your own doing, we're merely trying to help.

Sincerely bewildered,
The rest of America

P.S. While many of you may be inconvenienced by our swift name-changing ordinance, we think the town of Athol will thank us in the long run. (still hard for me to say that name with a straight face)

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