The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 October 2005

And now, a word from Pore Jud

Well, maybe not, since he's daid.

But listen to Meryl:

In what universe did any Oklahoman ever talk like the actors were taught to do in the film Oklahoma!?

They used a dialogue coach to get them to mangle those accents.

Jus Addiss was laughing all the way to the bank.

Or should that be "laffin’"?

He probably don't kyeer.

I'd say something here, but someone would no doubt remember my origins in northern Illinois.

And besides, sometimes it's fun to work the stereotypes, as I did the first time I visited Joisey.

Posted at 8:09 PM to Soonerland


Posted by: Donna at 10:15 PM on 10 October 2005

hehehe ... I grew up with a lot of Oklahomans that DID talk like that. In fact most of them can be easily distinguished by the way the pronounce Hawaii as "High Why Ya" and of course the age old Miami as "My Am Uh" (thats how you know they mean the one in Oklahoma versus the copycat in Florida pronounced by even the hickiest Okie as "My Am E"). It's all in the dialect ... ain't it?

Reckon so. :)

Posted by: ron at 7:45 AM on 11 October 2005

I played Ado Annie in my college production. Reading the script for the first time was like reading in a foreign language you have just started to study. The "Oklahoma" dialect is written out, rather than just relying on the actor to do it for himself.

"I'm jist a girl who caint say no. I'm in a turrible fix." and "Aint skyered ah you."

Posted by: Angi at 10:05 AM on 11 October 2005

The Oklahoma dialogue mystery has troubled me for years, but I have come up with two competing theories for it:

Theory No.1) People in this state used to talk like that but immigrants from foreign places like New York and California, plus the linguistic leavening of TV, has changed us.

Theory No.2) After re-reading "The Grapes of Wrath" by Steinbeck, I realized that he used the same pronunciation guide. This novel was held in such high regard nationally that it is just possible that Rogers & Hammerstein, plus the movie crew later, used it as their authentic template.

I lean toward Theory No.2, but as a matter of observation, older residents around Claremore/Catoosa do sound more like the movie than do people from the western side of the state.


Posted by: Dave at 10:35 AM on 11 October 2005

People in Wisconsin really don't say "yah der, hey" very often; just a simple "yeah, hay". Damn betcha.

Posted by: triticale at 7:37 PM on 11 October 2005