Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bog Face: Cathedral:

When I was in Moscow this summer my sister-in-law was eating what I would refer to as a honeydew melon for dinner and when I asked her what it was called she said "dyinya" - which just means melon. There's nothing for the honey dew part. This ended up causing some tension between us because the "y" in that first syllable represents a horrible vowel called a "Yery" and after all these years of trying I still can't fucking make this sound correctly - even though it's all over the Russian language. So she kept saying "dyinya" and I kept saying "dyinya" and she kept saying NO! NO! DYINYA! and so on. And then I wore black to her wedding. The yery is a "close, central unrounded vowel" which means you pretend like your throat is closing up after a deadly allergic reaction to say a bee sting, and then, with your throat in that position, you try to make the sound "ee." Even though I'm an actor, it takes me a really long time to imagine the bee sting part and by then everyone has moved on they don't care about me anymore.

What's weird about the "close, central unrounded vowel" is that it's rare in Indo-European languages - mainly it's used in Polish, Russian, and Romanian - but it's used in almost all the indigenous languages of the Americas. They even think the Aztecs used it. So I guess that walking over ice thing or whatever is true.

Goodness I'm digressing.