Talking like an American

I think my charming New Zealand accent is becoming more Americanized. I now pronounce schedule as skedule and route as rout because I know from experience that Americans get really distracted if you don’t say it their way (try asking for tune-a instead of toona at Subway, or for a croissant at Panera pronouncing croissant the way the the rest of the world does). While I joke about my accent to break the ice early on in the course, it matters a lot in class because I really don’t want students distracted from the main message by something tangential like the way I say things. And my choice of vocabulary can affect comprehension a lot: crib death is cot death to me, and cow pies are cow pats (who in their right mind would talk of cow excrement as if it was edible?). But I continue to learn. Words this year that attracted attention:

CowPie-JeffVanugawalrus (woolrus)
condom (condim)
albino (al-bean-o, al-by-no)
urine (u-rin)
Monty (Mony)
do do (poop)
Duke (dook)
advertisement (adver-ties-ment)
yo-gurt (yog-urt)
snog (snog)
[actually I think there is only one way to say snog, but a Professor saying snog is novel]
China (?Beats me why someone posted to the comment wall asking me to say China again)

But the best of all was the distinction I got repeatedly asked about: review sessions versus revision sessions. To me the words are interchangeable, and they have been during the previous four SC200 classes. But no longer. It turns out this is a rare example of American-English being more nuanced than English-English. I have now learned that review sessions are where you go over things and revision sessions are where you change things. Apparently my advertising what I will from now on call ‘exam review sessions’ as ‘exam revision sessions’ got some hopes up. Live and learn.

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