or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


You totally need to be reading Exotic White Girls, although it's really about exotic white people, period.

If you don't think it's funny, that's fine. But if you don't get it and think it's racist (or "reverse racist"), then you're an idiot. Maybe you just weren't paying attention in school, like those people who were asked to retweet their name with no vowels in it and responded thusly:

I myself am an extremely exotic white person (I'm Canadian, a Newfoundlander, for god's sake, and you can't get much more exotic than that), and I bet a lot of you exotic types have had this experience: you're watching TV or listening to the radio or reading a news story about some crime, some multi-millionaire arrested for insider trading, some dirtbag in an expensive suit locked up for running a Ponzi scheme, some priest in the docket for molesting children for twenty years, some spoiled actress or heiress crashing her car into a nightclub or stealing from a Rodeo Drive jewellery store, and what you're thinking is, "Please please please don't let it be a white person!" And it always is, every time. Watching the news, you'd think all us exotic white folks were criminals and degenerates. And we're really not. There are decent white people out there, but you'd never know it from the media.


I wouldn't like to say that all us exotic types are persnickety about grammar and usage (in fact, I think not nearly enough of us are), but if you find someone who makes a really big deal out of those things, then they're probably an exotic white person. And I could defend it ("If you're writing 'threw' instead of 'through', then you are wrong," I might say), but I won't; it's just part of who I (exotically) am.

And here is a thing that really bugs me. I work in a craft store, and people are fairly often asking for large transfers, decals, to put on their walls. AND THEY'RE PRONOUNCING IT WRONG.

"Decal" is an abbreviated form of "d├ęcalcomanie", which is a kind of transfer. I don't much care what any dictionary says (although most of them agree with me): the word ought to be pronounced with accent on the second syllable, and when it's pronounced identically with "deckle", it just sets my teeth on edge. It's probably one of those lost-cause words (like "kilometre", even though I will argue my stress-the-first-syllable case until the day I die if need be), but I don't care. It's deCAL, dammit.


Blogger MJenks said...

Man...I was worried for a moment while reading that last paragraph. I kept saying in my head "How the hell ELSE do you pronounce 'decal'?"

I was doing it properly. Sigh of relief, you have been heaved.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:16:00 PM  

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