Merry Mary -- a phonetics professor in Chicago

Merry Mary -- a phonetics professor in Chicago

News item: “My Fair Lady” is the next Broadway-style musical to be produced at Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, starting in Spring 2017.

We don’t seem to have “phonetics professors” like Henry Higgins here in Chicago, so imagine an acting coach with a student actress named Mary… a student actress with a Chicago accent.

Coach: Say “Merry Christmas,” Mary.

Mary: Merry Christmas, merry.

Coach: Can’t you even say your own name, Mai-ry?

Mary: Merry. My name is Merry.

Coach: It is if you spell it M-E-R-R-Y. But you spell your name M-A-R-Y. I’ve seen you do it!

Mary: Right. M-A-R-Y spells merry.

Coach: Oh, why did I have to move to Chicago? Can you hear no vowels?

Mary: Uh —

Coach: That’s it, “uh” all you can hear! Try this: “Eat, drink and be merry when Mary gets married.”

Mary: Eat, drink and be merry when Merry gets merried.

Coach: No! You feel merry.

Mary: Not when you yell.

C0ach: I mean that’s the feeling, merry. And your name is Mai-ry.

Mary: Mai-ry? Sounds like Queen Elizabeth talking about her grandmother.

Coach: Exactly! Now, what happens at a wedding?

Mary: People get merried.

Coach: No, no! It’s another word altogether. People get mah-rried.

Mary: Mah-rried.

Coach: Try it again. “Eat, drink and be merry when Mary gets married.”

Mary: It’s too much.

Coach: Then I’ll act like your father: Mai-ry, get mah-rried. Try that.

Mary: Merry, get merried.

Coach: Mai-ry, get, mah-rried.

Mary: Mai-ry, get merried.

Coach: It’s working.. by George, it’s working!


Merry Christmas, dear readers!


Filed under: Music and language


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  • How about "mare" and "mere"? And remember how Richard J. Daley pronounce "mayor"?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Both mares talked Chicago.

  • In reply to jack:

    I loved finding the British term "looking glass," because one of the words that gave me trouble as a kid was "mirror." It's just as well I wasn't denigrating a looking glass, because it would have sounded like "a mere mere."

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Yes, I remember Richard I. It's a good thing the mayor didn't own a horse, or she could have been da mare of da mare.

  • Didn't Comics Kingdom publish a Merry Mary Worth Christmas today? And what about all the priests and county clerks marrying people?

    But St. Xavier University advertises that its speech pathologist graduates get jobs.

    Back to a prior topic. Someone called me today trying to make me make her Hanukah dinner, and when I asked if she was going to make something, she said she could or would get a potato. I then mentioned that I got into an online debate over subjunctives, but she said she didn't know what I meant.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for keeping me up to date on Comics Kingdom; I'd have missed that.

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