Woah Chris! Very interesting! It's time to organize every disabled person in the community, every ethnic background, every person with an accent and bombard them with entries!
As to keeping people with broad accents off, I recall watching years ago when a woman from somewhere in the east (don't know where;I'm not actually good with accents) had a very broad one. Pat couldn't understand her when she asked for vowels and I couldn't either. Never saw that happen again. It makes me think af what a nightmare it could be in Canada where we have many languages, cultur4es and accents. In particular, a very large French-Canadian community. Think of how our Quebecois skaters speak. A WOF that denied them based on accent would create a national incident!
But I hope that WOF takes the responses to heart and realizes how mean-spirited it was to deny that woman.
Even tiny little England—and more so the British Isles in general—would have such a problem. Britain is famous for its regional accents, though I gather there's been some homogenization lately due to the spread of "BBC standard" English that enters everyone's home through TV. In Britain, accent doesn't just mean region, it can also mean class. One of the most endearing traits of Zara Phillips, Princess Anne's daughter (and now an equestrian medalist from the London Olympics) is that she has somehow managed to develop a completely different accent from her mother and royal grandmother, her father, and even her brother. It's a much more regional, working-class accent that I've researched and learned is called an "estuary accent," so named because it's spoken around the Thames and its estuary. The first time I heard her in an interview I almost fell over in surprise. It makes you realize what a nonconformist she is and how free her mother kept her from royal constraints. In that accent, the final /l/ sound is often pronounced almost like a /w/.
Anyway, as I said in an earlier post, some people from various spots in Britain, including Zara Phillips, would have a tough time collecting their money on Wheel of Fortune if they received a strict judgment after pronouncing a phrase. It's all very well to say "you must speak correctly," but to people growing up with a particular accent, that is speaking correctly. (Speaking of the word judgment, Gerald Ford, our late former President, used to pronounce the word with an extra syllable: judg-uh-ment. He wouldn't win any money on that show either. Fortunately, this possibility takes nothing away from his accomplishments in life.)
I beleive WOF is syndicated. So, it's broadcast rights are sold to local markets and can end up on different networks from region to region and air at different times of the day.
Originally Posted by Olympia
Personally, I don't blame Pat or Vanna - there have been a lot of contestants who have mis-spoke and lost and they aren't obligated to say 'I know you knew it, so, I'm going to give you the money myself'. I believe the rules say that you must recite the answer in it's full form - abbreviations not allowed. If the 'G' hadn't been revealed, this wouldn't have been as much of an issue. That's why so many of the players enunciate their responses painstakenly on WOF.
I do believe that the producers should give this woman a do-over. I think I have seen this occur on other episodes [where the contestant didn't provide the correct answer, but it was apparent they knew the answer.], but in those cases, the mistake was in the unrevealed letters. There have been other game shows that have made errors. Since you can't guess what might've happened if the game had continued, they usually invite the contestant back for a do-over. Some accept, others don't. It's not a perfect solution, but it is a second chance that they would not have had based upon the contract about multiple appearances within a given time frame.
I believe that it's against the law to not attempt to accommodate a person with physical disabilities. In the case of someone who's blind, they would need a 'Vanna' to reveal the letters in Braille to the contestant - probably with someone else looking on to ensure that the person isn't revealing too many letters. For hearing impaired, they could have the person write down their letter choice on a small white board and reveal to all - as well as have a board with each letter filled in, where the person could write in the missing letters to show their answer - they couldn't use an interpreter because they want to avoid the possibility/perception that the interpreter is helping out the person. WOF is one of the easier shows to do this because everyone has a turn in order. It would be harder to do on Jeopardy where some of the questions are audio and/or visual.
BTW, they do interview the contestants and pick people who can speak well in order to avoid this type of issue. When we went to Let's Make A Deal, it was apparent that they were looking for people who were very enthusiastic and excitable, as well as good speakers and confident in manner. Being on TV is nerve wracking enough, which is why they don't pick people who can't speak or have a conversation with a screener in small groups. Even then, some of their picks get stage struck.
Ah! Syndication. Of course. That had not occurred to me. Thanks for clarifying, Heyang.
I actually once saw an episode of Jeopardy where a woman with a visual impairment got a visual question. It was heartbreaking, because she just couldn't answer it. I wish they had been able to describe the picture to her or give some hint, because as I recall the situation there was nothing in the description that would have given the answer away. Trebek was very apologetic. The woman was a very good contestant, and she lost steam after that and didn't win.
I know we've drifted away from the original topic from time to time, but it's been fun considering all the side issues. One is the law you mentioned, Heyang, that ensures that the disabled be accommodated in a wider range of situations. I'm glad that these days, thanks to the ADA,, there's more incentive to represent the disabled in all the fun stuff of life, like game shows, as well as the practical aspects of things such as accessibility to public buildings. I still remember a charming Kellogg's Corn Flakes ad some years ago featuring a young woman who reacted to the taste of corn flakes entirely by signing, with written subtitles. These moves can only make popular culture better and more interesting.
I imagine that one good opportunity to have someone with a visual or hearing impairment on WOF would be in an episode where partners are featured, which I know they've done several times. Then the partners could divide the labor, with one partner seeing or hearing whatever is needed and both thinking out the answer and strategizing.
You beat me too.
Originally Posted by heyang
Here's an interesting discussion of "ing" versus "in." According to this scholar, the historically correct pronumnciation is "in." "Ing" later came into vogue under the influence of spelling.
In the early part of the Twentieth Century the British upper crust dropped the g as a class affectation, while hoi polloi said "ing." (American actors trying to fake a British upper class accent still do this. : )
The former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, got her start in show business by appearing on the Dating Game. She parlayed the experience into a political career.
Originally Posted by Coyote Chris
I am going to watch (record it) tonight.....see who advertises on it....
I wonder how many folk on this forum can pronounce the following phrase correctly?
"Seven orangutans a' swinging"
Chris who likes the spelling of Lewis and Clark
Originally Posted by Mathman
I've heard "orangutan" pronounced with a g at the end. Never say it that way myself; don't know whether I'm right or wrong. I do know that "orangutan" means "old man" in some Indonesian language, for the obvious reason that this ape looks so close to human.
Very interesting about the final /g/, Math. I remember in the earliest Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, Dorothy Sayers reproduced Wimsey's speech by dropping the letter g at the end of the verb. (Whose Body? is an example.) She used less "bright young thing" dialect in the later, deeper books.
The Brits also say jag-you-ar, not jag-war the way we Americans do. No kidding! I guess they feel entitled, since they have the car if not the animal. They also say Don Joo-an rather than the more authentic Don Hwan for Don Juan. I know this because that's how the BBC announcer used to talk about the Richard Strauss tone poem of that name. You know; the companion piece to "Don Quixx-oat," the British pronunciation for Don Quixote. (Well, the French say Don Kee-shott, but then I think they spell it differently.)
In the north of England, they also pronounce the g in long. In fact, there's a joke phrase "King Arthur rode around Long Island singing a song," and a friend of mine from Lancashire says it the same way a Long Islander would.
So, Math, does this mean I am pronouncing orangutan the preferred way? It does seem parallel to other Indonesian words like rambutan (a fruit) and Kalimantan (their name for the island we call Borneo). so I made that assumption.
I love this thread!
Last edited by Olympia; 12-28-2012 at 10:03 AM.
Wicked Yankee Girl
While we are doing the mysteries of pronounciation, let me tell you of our local little mystery.
The city across the river from my town, Groton, CT, is called New London, and the founders that named it New London, named the small tidal river next to it the Thames River. It was named in 1646.
In England, the Thames River next to the original city of London is pronounced without the "h" Temz.
Our river is pronounced Thames, to rhyme with James.
My town, Groton, CT, is named after the town the founder John Winthrop Jr, of New London, was born in, Groton, England in Suffolk
Groton, CT is pronounced to rhyme with rotten.
There is also a Groton, MA, also named to honor the Winthrop family and a Groton, VT named after one of the other 2 Grotons.
People who live is one or another of the Groton's say the other is pronounced Grow-ton.
Now at least one web explanation of the Thames pronounciation is that people in 1646 pronounced it like the spelling. However, people in CT in 1646 didn't really spell in any regular way. My ancestors who lived here at the time, spent a significant amount of time worrying whether to spell their last name Miner or Minor. The explanation I was taught in Groton as a child was that some one of the early King George's couldn't pronounce Thames properly and pronounced it Temz, and therefore everyone else in England just followed along. Because our Thames' name predated King George, and no one here could hear King George speak, it stayed "Thames".
If it helps, the native accent here (which almost no one has any more) sounds a lot like people from Devonshire, England.
Whit Davis, seen here, has the authentic accent for the area:
Local pronunciations of place names are cool. Michigan has a town named Lake Orion, pronounced OR-yun. It is Huron county, pronounced the same as urine. An little farther north is the Mackinac (mackinaw) bridge near Sault (Soo) Ste Marie. There is a street in Detroit named Goethe -- pronounced Go-eethie.
And a friend of mine comes from Lima, Ohio. It was clearly named after Lima, Peru, pronounced Lee-ma, but in Ohio it's Lie-ma, long i sound.
Doris, I think that sounds right about the Thames. The first Georges were from Hanover, Germany, and I think I read that George I didn't even bother to learn English at all. The /th/ sound really doesn't exist in German. A lot of American words and names kept the old pronunciations after British English moved on a separate path. One good example is the /er/ sound in clerk and derby. We pronounce them with the same vowel sound as bird. The Brits say "clark" and "darby." (And if you slide that pronunciation in your mind, you can almost hear how it drifted from /ir/ to /ar/--think of how an Irish person would say it, with a bit of a scoop to it.)
I didn't know about Lake Orion, Math. One wonders whether it got tangled with the pronunciation of "Huron" itself somewhere during its evolution. I think Americans tend to stress the first syllable in words. I am an example: as I read the Narnia books growing up, I pronounced the kingdom of Calormen as CAL-ormen. It just sounded right to me, and who did I ever talk to who read Narnia with the fervor I did? Recently I heard a CD of a wonderful radio production of The Horse and His Boy, one of the books in the series. The introduction was presented by Douglas Gresham, C.S. Lewis's stepson, and presumably he knew how Lewis envisioned the pronunciation. In this production, the narrator and all the characters pronounce the name ka-LOR-men, stress on the second syllable. I will probably continue to think of the name in my style, because I prefer the sound. Hey, I speak it with an accent.
Wicked Yankee Girl
In fact, there was a flatlander named Jack McMullen who decided to use his money to buy himself the Republican nomination for the Vermont Senate seat.
He was defeated by his inability to pronounce the names of Vermont towns and the wicked good humor of Vt farmer Fred Tuttle.
Vermont debates are run by Vt public radio and the rules allow the candidates to ask questions of each other. When it came time for Fred to question McNullen, this is more or less what he asked him:
Hokay, how would you pronounce B A R R E (spelling it out)?
Nup. Barry. And now how would you pronounce C A L A I S?
Nup. Callus. And how would you pronounce C H A R L O T T E?
Nup: sha LOT. Finally, how many teats are there on a cow?
Fred, Nup, 4. And you mean to tell me that when you can't even pronounce three of Vermont's largest towns, and don't even know how many teats there are on a cow, that you would presume to run for the job of Senator for Vermont?
Fred won the nomination..and then said that he would himself be voting for his good friend, the incumbent Democrat, Senator Pat Leahy.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 12-28-2012 at 01:52 PM.