Sunday, November 18, 2007

on dilettantes

Honestly, prior to reading this post, I had considered affecting the usage of "might could" because it seemed so lovely to me, though I've never lived in or even been in a region where it would be colloquial. I took it as a sign of rootless dilettantism [sic], an attempt at appropriating a culture not my own, rather than a true appreciation of the semantic subtleties of the linguistic construction. I don't even know what my own voice sounds like or should sound like. I've been reading a self-help book to sort this out. I think most of the things I say are affectations, since I was taught utterly "standard" American English with an utterly unmarked accent, except for a few rural colloquialisms picked up from who-knows-where, namely, sometimes saying "gorsh" instead of "gosh" when flustered and having "bag" rhyme with "vague", though I've unfortunately begun overcompensating by making "vague" sound like the "normal" pronunciation of "bag", as my comrades in youth made fun of my pronunciation (so I didn't learn it from them, and, oddly, I didn't consciously change it until now, when nobody seems to care). I've noticed that when I read in public or drink excessively, I stop some yod-dropping and start broadening A's. But this is all quite a digression. So, anyways, if anybody knows what I'm supposed to sound like, please do tell, I'll be glad to conform to something.

In principio creavit Deus cælum et terram

Previously I remarked that translating it otherwise (ie, "made" instead of the usual "created") probably wouldn't throw anybody off, but, I have reconsidered and would agree in light of the original Latin. Consider this a public retraction of a previous comment.

And the Antiochians agree with the Russian ranking of bishops and not the Greek.

Carry on.