Friday, October 5, 2018

Scene from an Eye-talian restaurant

The waitstaff had been trained into robotic uniformity:

“What would you like, ma’am?”

“. . .”

“Yes, ma’am. And what would you like, sir?”

“. . .”

“Yes, sir. And what would you like, ma’am?”

And so on. The crack in the facade appeared when someone asked about salad dressing.

“We have Eye-talian, French,” &c.

The owners had thought of almost everything.

“Eye-talian” is a common midwestern pronunciation. Maybe that’s how the owners pronounce it too.

comments: 6

The Arthurian said...

I hear lots of people say "E-legal"; actually lots of words that begin with "il" get the "E-" treatment. Also, when did people suddenly start pronouncing "without" as two words? I thought such matters were long-settled, but apparently not. It has to do with getting old, I think.

Michael Leddy said...

I’ll keep my ears open forwith out. I wonder if it’s a hypercorrection, like off-ten for often.

shallnot said...

"“Eye-talian” is a common midwestern pronunciation." Ah! The mid-western 'shibboleth'?

I will often use 'off-ten' if need to emphasize it otherwise it's just plain old 'offen'.

Michael Leddy said...

One of a couple three shibboleths, at least. :)

The more offen I hear often, the more offen sounds wrong to me. The times, they are, &c.

Elaine said...

I would have said it's also a Southern thing.
When we rotated back to The Mainland in 1960 from Schofield Barracks on Oahu, people would look at our license plates and speed up to get a look at us. If we were stopped somewhere, they might comment, "Pretty wet trip, wasn't it?" But invariably they would pronounce the name of the newest state this way: high WAH yuh. And we drove all the way across the continent on Rte. 66, so it was tested pretty thoroughly.

(Michener had it wrong, too. NObody said "Hu-VAH-ee" back then. Maybe now they say it differently, having changed the spelling a bit. When Louisa May Alcott wrote _Eight Cousins,_ she spelt it "Owhyhee.")

Michael Leddy said...

I’ve never heard that Hawaii joke (or attempted joke) before. I wonder if it’s faded with flying becoming more commonplace. I think I’ve heard Hawaii with a “v” only on TV past, as in, say, a Johnny Carson monologue.