I say "Wai-ka-doe"

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2007-11-10 09:48

"SAY IT RIGHT: Herearoha Skipper, from the office of Waikato University's pro-vice chancellor, spreads the word about the correct pronunication of Waikato"

It's a cultural war we're in and language itself is not neutral ground. The persuit of liberty requires political victory but also so much more. Capitalism cannot endure where the people entertain absurdities. A scientifically technological, industrial, society cannot base itself on supersition. Civilisation cannot flourish where the welfare of trees and snails are put before the rights of men.

Civilisation's fate does not hinge on the outcome of Waikato University's pronunciation crusade. It's really a contingent matter (that's high-falutin' philosophy-talk for 'non-essential matter') as to wheather the future republic of New Freeland (as New Zealand will be renamed when we're through with it) say "Wai-kat'o" or "Why-cut-or." That's not my point.

Also Maori, like English, is an official language of New Zealand. But a free country needs state-sanctioned language like it needs state-minted money or a chicken needs a fox! This isn't the point either.

The point is that Maori don't hold the monopoly on culture in this country but many often act as if they do. Especially in the case of pronunciation, where almost a kind of linguistic imperialism takes place against anglosised versions of place names.

Reminds me of once being told not to sit on top of a desk at school. It might upset a passing Maori because it's not their way. "What about my way," I said?

Likewise, on the linguistic front, the English-speaking have been anglosising and assimilating foreign words since Ceaser wore swaddling. In Michigan I met a Chippewa Indian, but in his own tounge he calls himself "Ojibway" and we didn't have a problem with that. Speaking of Ceasar, the Russians had theirs too but the Russofied version is "Tzar" just as the Germanic version was "Kaiser." If some Italian pronunciation wonk ever tried to put a stop to this his body has never been found!

I think "Waikado" is correct by common useage but that the University is welcome to its project without objection from me. What I object to is this imperialistic attitude that says everyone else is "wrong" and everything else is "mispronunciation." It's nothing of the sort. This is English in action. And these are New Zealand place names, not pre-New Zealand place names.

Sadly, I'm seeing an attitude from neo-Maori that says their customs and rituals, and citizenship, deserves a good measure more indulgence than anybody else's. That's the very thin edge of a very dangerous wedge.

--
Lindsay Mitchell Blog


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Linz, what ever gave you that idea?

HWH's picture

and BTW, did I mention the ferocity of my farts? Smiling

 

I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll

Well ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You don't want Elijah to fancy you, do you? Smiling

Now I'm fucked

HWH's picture

I have a South African accent...my wife's even worse and when I actually wear shoes, its mostly $20 Crocs.

What to do?

Hilton

I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.- - Robert Green Ingersoll

Robert

Elijah Lineberry's picture

I am quite serious!

I judge chaps by their accents, their shoes and their Wives...very, very important in ascertaining what sort of a chap a chap is. Smiling

(anything else is just being shallow) Eye

Piffle!

Robert's picture

"I simply refuse to listen to a 'dear Lady' who cannot talk properly."

Piffle!

Talking shit is a greater crime than sounding like shit.

Men and women with their heads screwed on straight are so damned few and far between these days that rejecting them because their accent isn't clipped-BBC enough is moronic.

Paula Dean oozes jour du vie y'all.

I'd take that over the whiny (but well enunciated) socialist dribbles you hear from the Bolshevik Broadcasting Collective.

When he's less busy I'm

Duncan Bayne's picture

When he's less busy I'm going to go in and offer him lip-and-tongue lessons.

The mind boggles Smiling

 

---
Buy and wear InfidelGear - 100% of all InfidelGear profit goes to SOLO!

Gosh!

Elijah Lineberry's picture

Lindsay, what a splendid idea! ...there is little a good horse whipping will not do to 'focus the mind'. Sticking out tongue

Females are the worst Barf! ...I simply refuse to listen to a 'dear Lady' who cannot talk properly, and how a female speaks is the quickest way to ascertain whether a "White Trash With Visa And Smith And Caughey Charge Card" alert in Remmers is required (if you know what I mean?) Eye

I am not sure if you realise, Lindsay, but your use of the word 'Mordi' gets quite a bit of coverage in these parts...rather like "kai oar-raaa" of old, even the Waiter at the local Sierra cafe, who knows I am regular on this site, said how funny he finds the word 'mordi', on Friday when I was in there. Smiling

Elijah ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That's as normal people do.

Unfortunately, "normal" people don't. They're all nose, no brain ... and certainly no class. Their voice production and pronunciation are woeful. I daresay Waikato University isn't concerned about that—encourages it, even—merely the mispronunciation of Mordi.

Some philistines realise what ignoramuses they reveal themselves to be when they emit their peculiar noises in lieu of speaking. Danny Carter knows he's a mumbler/mangler. I saw him in his new shop the other day. When he's less busy I'm going to go in and offer him lip-and-tongue lessons.

Divine Danny aside, all mumbler/manglers should be horsewhipped.

Gosh

Elijah Lineberry's picture

I really dislike working class accents Sad

Why can these native chaps not use 'Received Pronunciation' like normal people do? ...(is that too much to ask!?!?!)

Sounds like some Korean

michael fasher's picture

Sounds like some Korean marshall art

My way

reed's picture

I think sitting on tables is bad manners... if you wear a grass skirt, no undies and use leaves instead of toilet paper.

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