“H” is for “Hilarity”, not “Ilarity”


“Ilarity” would just be sick, haha, get it?

Ok, so when I first moved to Indiana EVERYONE was like “you talk funny” to which I responded “no, you talk funny.”  I know, very mature of me. 

I spent that last 9 years in Massachusetts, so I picked up what you might call an ‘accent’, I call it ‘talking nohmal’.  See, people from New England have a tendency to not pronounce the letter “R” when it appears in words.  HOWEVER, when the word starts with the letter “R”, say “redsox” we pronounce it.  “redsox”, not “edsox”.  

In Indiana, locals here seem to have no trouble pronouncing the letter “R” in fact they even like to add it to words where no “R” is called for.  Like “Warshington”, “Warshing Machine”, “Rurrl” (Rural).  And I’m fine with that, I figure Indiana is making up for New England’s lack of pronouncing “R”, cosmic balance, it’s nice.   And it’s cute to hear a little kid say “warsh”. 

What I cannot get over is this “H” thing.  What is with that?  I’m sitting at lunch one day and my lunch mate is Indiana born and bred.  And she goes “It’s just umbling, isn’t it?” And I go “Pardon?” and she goes “umbling, umble, you know?” 

No I do not know.

Do you mean ‘Humble’?  And she goes “yeah, umble!

OH MY GOD STOP SAYING THAT!  I scream inside my head, because

1) we are in a public place and

2) she’s a new friend and I don’t want her to think I’m a nut…ha, ha, yeah, definitely NOT a nut. 

I just can’t get over it, the letter “h” seems to be forbidden out here.  “Umble”, “ere” (here), I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP PEOPLE.  Even “ippopatamus”

….ok I made that one up. 

(Ok side note:  So in reality I have met only about 7-10 people who do not pronounce the letter ‘h’ in words, but all these people are from Indiana, therefore I have decided it is an Indiana accent.  Now I know there are many of you who pronounce ‘h’ just fine.  Please don’t take offense, this is just supposed to be funny and light hearted)

Then I got to thinking, a Boston (pronounced ‘bahstan’) accent and a Midwest accent could never co-exist.  I cannot simply combine my Boston accent with a Midwest accent, I’d never be able to pronounce the letters ‘r’ and ‘h’ again.  And that’s like HALF the words in the English language. 

So now I’m stuck in accent-limbo, and as we all know limbo is the first circle of hell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante)#First_Circle_.28Limbo.29

Sorry that was a Seminary and a Catholic joke…though Virgil and Ovid are in Limbo, and I bet they are GREAT conversation partners…hmmm maybe I’ll hang out in Limbo a little longer…

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One response to ““H” is for “Hilarity”, not “Ilarity”

  1. Okay, I am born and bred in Indiana and I have only come across a handful of people who say “umble” instead of “humble” in my lifetime. I think you must be hanging out with snobs, or something, because my experience (with that specific word) is that it’s an upper class, snooty thing!! I really cannot think of any other words I’ve heard this omission in…except, of course, “herb” (for the seasoning…do not pronounce the “h”…do you??). I thought that was common for everyone…but in this instance I think the chefs “snoot” it up and pronounce the “h.” Like in the name, Herb, when it SHOULD be said.

    I am from Northwest Indiana though, which has Chicago influence…so maybe this is a central Indiana thing, but really, I have not come across it much in our few years of living in Lafayette.

    Anyway, I thought this blog post was hilarious…probably because I’m a nerd who is interested in the way people talk since I was a Speech Language Pathologist (in my life before kids) 🙂

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