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Dangerous Reading

weather: light drizzle
outside: 4°C
mood: dorky
I bought a copy of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. =)

Firstly, it is dangerous to be reading this play in public.

I went to Timmy Ho's for lunch* and started reading the play as I was eating. I am way too compelled to read Eliza's lines out loud to fully appreciate her accent, especially when she's in hysterics =D At first I tried to just hear it in my head. Then I began whispering her lines.

At one point, she howled a mostly unintelligible noise spanning an impressive spectrum of non-frontal vowels ... and I quote: "Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow-ow-oo!!!". Bwahahaha!! =D I didn't howl, but I definitely said something out loud. I think a few people wanted to call for security. What can I say? I was visualizing the IPA for it and one of the things that helps immensely is to say it yourself.

Anyway, one gentleman laughed and I laughed with him, held up the book and said, "there's a character with an interesting accent". He smiled and nodded (I heard him thinking "freak..." =). I went back to reading. Quietly. In my head. =} =} =}

Secondly, I've discovered that the retarded internet teenybopper spellings and punctuation is completely, entirely George Bernard Shaw's doing. In the April 1902 edition of The Author, he wrote:

The apostrophes in ain't, don't, haven't, etc. look so ugly that the most careful printing cannot make a page of colloquial dialogue as handsome as a page of classical dialogue. Besides, shan't should be sha''n't, if the wretched pedantry of indicating the elision is to be carried out. I have written aint, dont, havnt [sic], shant, shouldnt, and wont for twenty years with perfect impunity, using the apostrophe only where its omission would suggest another word: for example, hell for he'll. There is not the faintest reason for persisting in the ugly and silly trick of peppering pages with these uncouth bacilli. I also write thats, whats, lets, for the colloquial forms of that is, what is, let us; and I have not yet been prosecuted.

I'm keeping my eye out for what Mr. No Uncouth Bacilli does with "it's" and "its".

* - Turkey & Wild Rice soup (4 points); 1 multigrain bagel (6 points); ½ tbsp. creamcheese on the bagel (0.5 points). Lunch total: 10.5 points.


Feb. 9th, 2003 09:50 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't it be loverly..
Pygmalion! One of Shaw's most famous works. If you really want to get a feel for Eliza's accent, watch the movie My Fair Lady (which is adapted from Pygmalion). Audrey Hepburn does a fabulous job as Eliza Doolittle.
Feb. 9th, 2003 10:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Wouldn't it be loverly..
I've seen My Fair Lady, but you know how movie adaptations are =} I wanted to read it first hand =)
Feb. 10th, 2003 06:37 am (UTC)
Re: Wouldn't it be loverly..
Yeah, books are always better than the movie!


The Bride of the First House

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