Ima luving thees pope music on tweeter

Ten second abstract (for readers like me with ten minutes a day to ‘Read my Subs’):

This is a simple rant about…oh… linguistics, language-acquisition or its absence.
Keywords: Pope Pop Roke Rock Pissed Paste Pest Post

    I turned the radio off. Israel Army Channel. Some music-expert going on about Gary Moore. Now, I like Gary Moore, but, rest his soul, he doesn’t deserve to have his ouvre described as ‘…on the line between ‘pope’ music and ‘roke’ music.’ That’s exactly what the announcer said, in fractured Hebrew.
How can it be that a man with presumably normal-looking ears can’t tell the difference between ‘pope’ and pop’. Or ‘roke’ and ‘rock’? The full Hebrew expression “musicat pop’ already voices, in the final ‘at’ sound of ‘musicat’, the vowel sound  that the deaf-mute should have been searching for.
I now have renewed disrespect for the insular non-inter-exchangeability of languages’ vowel-sets. Hebrew’s stubborn refusal to print any real vowels might have alerted me to the problem; that pet peeve waiting in deserved vain at the pound for adoption. Dream about it, Hebrew.
And while we’re on the subject…
    This morning’s news, at 6:11 alerted me to the fact that Libyia’s evolutionaries are in communication via ‘Tweeter’. Yup. long ‘E’, as green as the ‘E’ in ‘street’. They presumably send ‘Twots’ or ‘Twuts’; who knows these days? I await the truly sad news, after they succeed in the ‘off with his head’ stage and scuffle among themselves with the tough question of which new head should be grafted onto the body-politic. Perhaps “What hath God/Allah twat?” will be ‘liked’ by enough ‘friends’ to merit a Wiki-Leak.
I do feel trivial and pedantic, insisting on pronunciation at a time like this. Still, Marie Antoinette was careful, in similarly ‘interesting times’, to suggest as her alternate menu, ‘cake’, having ruled out ‘let them eat coke’, and of coarse, ‘….cock’.
I asked, diplomatically as usual, the owner of the corner-store kiosk, on the way to writing this, whether he could ‘hear’ the difference between ‘pope’ and ‘pop’, or ‘roke’ and ‘rock’. He replied by claiming not to know squat about ‘the music kids listen to these days’. Which wasn’t the question, but the fact that he didn’t ‘get it’ pretty much confirmed my thesis. Ok. I feel all better now.
I think y’all fur riding this pest/ js

Wu: So, speakers of disparate languages are suprisingly incapable of hearing the phonomes of each other’s tongues?
Me: Hmm. I shoulda just let you write the piece. Woulda saved 20 kilo-bytes. -beats. -boots. Whatever


22 thoughts on “Ima luving thees pope music on tweeter

  1. Roadkill_Spatula

    I always thought of pope music as being Gregorian chants.  I suspect that what Marie Antoinette actually said was, “Let them eat cack,” which is still an insult if you don’t go with the “soft-soled, heelless shoe for infants” definition. Sounds like you have Inspector Clouseau doing your radio spots over there.

  2. MelFamy

    I am reminded of an article I once read pertaining to animal sounds in different countries. The rooster goes cock-a-doodledoo in the US, and cocorico in France. It figures French roosters would have a cool accent. I can see them now, twirling their wattles and wooing naive American chicks with their coxcombs rakishly swept forward, almost hiding one beady eye.What were we talking about?

  3. dirtbubble

    Considering the grief her slogan brought, M.A. might have gotten more satisfaction by uttering, “Let them eat caka.” I was going to remark on my observations of consonant mangling by Spanish speakers (in Spanish and English – precise utterances seem to be optional), but my annecdotes are too weak and long-winded.

  4. ordinarybutloud

    If she had said “let them eat cock,” they might have spared her head. What? It’s possible! When I was a kid we used to eat pope rokes with Coke to see if our heads would explode.

  5. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – I weigh every day to utility/futility of calling the station, in an innocent pedagogical attempt to slowly lessen their embarrassment. meanwhile, covering all bases, I check Gary Moore’s CDs for any Vatican influnce I hadn’t noticed. Thanks for staying with me during the hiatus, Tim

  6. jsolberg

    @MelFamy – Jeezuz, I’ve missed this place and its interaction like a week-old foundling misses her mother’s milk! Going two months(?) with zero intellectual companionship is either a badge of courage or a sign of premature(?) senility.And the Heebies have ‘bought-into’ the French ‘kookerikoo’ as their word for what, to my ears every morning at 4AM, sounds prosaically American. (I’m debating getting chickens as we speak. Need to poll the neighbors. One man’s ‘pastorale’ is another’s ‘God-damn pigeon; I’m trying to sleep!’.

  7. jsolberg

    @dirtbubble – Au contraire, the Sp/Eng cusp is no less productive as a gold-mine. I only wrote this after realizing that Chompsky-the-savant/idiot, with his language-machine, might have over-rated our auditory skills. {We (Israelis) call bowling “BOWEL-ING”. Yup. I’ll leave it to the reader to imagine what the sport of ‘boweling’ might involve. Thanks, DB, for your astute-ism

  8. jsolberg

    @ordinarybutloud – Ah, yet another ‘force-to-be-reckoned-with’ with whom I’ve missed our interaction.For a brief time in the mid-60s, we were convinced that Coke+Aspirin would ‘get you high’. My dilletante experiments failed to confirm the hypothesis, and heart-throb Susie James emerged virginal. If there is a moral in all this, it’s perhaps that vowels can be critical. Whether I should dedicate an entire Xanga to this Question… Hmm.Sweet to hear from you. That much is beyond dispute:)

  9. Roadkill_Spatula

    @MelFamy – French and Spanish roosters crow in the same dialect, apparently. Spanish dogs go “guau guau”, not having mastered the voiced bilabial stop of their English-barking counterparts. I imagine Solberg may have suffered an identity crisis as a result of having his name variously pronounced Chonny, Johnny, or Yonni according to the ethnicity of his interlocutor.

  10. hellnohateyou

    I was reading to my brother this morning while we waited for his carpool. For some reason, we own an Arthur (as in the Marc Brown series) translated into Hebrew. It even has Hebrew vowels in it.So I was reading it to him, and since the vowels were there, I was trying to notice them. Muffy = Moofy, apparently. Arthur, of course, is Artoor. But that’s what makes it an enjoyable Hebrew book, and not an English one. The flavor of a language is in its component parts.What you need to do is think of pope as a Hebrew word. It means pop. And roke is a Hebrew word. It means rock.Or maybe not. I participated in an online study recently in which I listed to a whole bunch of snippets of people talking and transcribed what I heard. The people had really different accents (various American, British, Welsh, something that sounded Israeli, other foreign). And it occurred to me that with accents more like mine, or that I was especially used to (Israeli in particular) I was likely to write the words as they are spelled. But when the accents were less familiar, I tended to write the words as they sounded and put the word with correct spelling afterwards in parenthesis. Like it was less legitimate. But maybe it’s not.English is spoken with different vowels by different regions. Why can’t there be an Israel English dialect with different vowels too?

  11. jsolberg

    @hellnohateyou – Wow. Your thoughtful comment almost deserves a post in its own. Several new directions for ‘progress’ on the matter you’ve suggested. My problem is a shortage of free time here; kinda stuck between a ‘roke’ and a hard place, ha. But if Paris can be Paree, and the american Yum as in ‘yummy’, ‘kipper’ as in the big dipper can be considered ‘close enough’, then I should relax a bit. it’s just that, as an ex ‘rock’-star, I resent having to re-learn ‘roke’ Probably the chords are all different. Thanks so much for your thoughts, for now

  12. elgan

    My Israeli sister-in-law who came to live in Canada could not tell the difference between the short i (in grin) and the long e (as in green). She simply could not hear it. I’m sure after 25 years or so in the country she’s finally figured it out.

  13. jsolberg

    @elgan –  Perfect. That’s perhaps the quintessential example of the phenomenon. My lovely ex, a speech therapist no less, still tells me she’s left food in the toaster oven, and all I have to do is “hit it”. I usually heat it, with somewhat better culinary results.El, my Quixote-goal for the day, Shabbat, is to try to convince at least one hapless Israeli that there is a difference between ‘deaf, dumb and blind’ and ‘daft, dim and blonde’. Pray for me/ js

  14. splork_splork

    Well, I’m sure I butchered my pronunciation of Hebrew when I was learning it. Now, far worse, I’ve forgotten everything. I’ve heard that although young infants can distinguish between the phonemes of all languages, there’s a certain point during infancy where that stops and babies can only “hear” the phonemes of their own language. So we’re all biologically “set in our ways”…at least that’s my excuse.


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