Thursday, February 28, 2008

I Say Cawl. So What?

Sue me. I'm from New York (note, not New Yawk).

I frequently get made fun of for the many accents of Amanda. Why do I not sound like I'm from New York? But why do I say dawg, cawfee, and tawk? Well I don't know! Why do people in the South say y'all (I'm irked by people who use that term when they aren't from the South btw).

I can't explain my English dialect. I'm always abused for saying New York words, but my SI friends can't understand why I pronounce things so properly sometimes. I guess it's because I went to college with people that were not from New York and I suppose that speaking Spanish also has helped me along the way. Maybe it was all that speech training in high school that taught me to pronounce my t's and d's. My parents don't sound too New York-like either.

I was questioned the other day by a new employee as to where I was from. Where am I from? I thought it a funny question. Born and raised in SI, I said. The reply: "You don't sound like you're from here." Well, where do I sound like I'm from? It's kind of like the reaction I get when I tell people that I'm half Puerto Rican. "But you don't LOOK Puerto Rican!" What does that look like exactly?? I find it amusing.

It's also interesting that when I'm around certain people I tend to pick up a little bit of their accent. For example, when I’m around those who have a slightly exaggerated SI accent, I may begin to speak like them. And my mom swears that as she goes South she picks up a Southern twang. (However, I've never actually heard this.)

We may all speak English, but our accents are what truly give us personality. As for me, I'm stuck among a plethora of different languages: English, Spanish, Staten Island, and who knows what else. Does that mean I have separate personalities?
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Monday, February 25, 2008

I Exclaim.

As I was emailing with Laura the other day, she pointed out how much she actually used the exclamation point. "Holy exclamation marks," she said as she ended her email about the weekend to me. "Sorry, I get a little too excited sometimes.."

I'm a compulsive exclamation point user, myself. So when she said that to me I laughed because I could really understand what she meant. It's extremely difficult to convey tone online and in emails so your choice of punctuation is crucial. I really feel the exclamation point conveys emotion very well and I'm generally a pretty excited and friendly person. However, as I read over professional emails, I usually find myself deleting exclamation points because I don't want to appear overly excited, especially to people I don't really know. And, being the grammarian I am, I don't want to misuse and abuse my punctuation!

So of course, I must consult my AP Stylebook, aka the Journalist's bible. It reads:

"AVOID OVERUSE: Use a comma after mild interjections. End mildly exclamatory sentences with a period."

But how can you be mildly excited about something?! You're either excited or you're not. You may very well be ecstatic and when that happens I usually throw in an extra mark or two, because why not? I guess that's one of the times that I deviate from the rules. I can have poetic license, you know. I'm a writer!! So, Laura, don't worry about overusing exclamation points - I do it all the time!

Stay tuned for my overuse of haha, LOL, and the ellipsis in emails and on IM… =) (I also enjoy smilies)
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Withdrawing Myself

It was a Sunday afternoon. I thought I'd take the day to catch up on some freelance and relax a bit (if time allowed). What I didn't anticipate was the events that would befall me that windy February day. You see, I've formed an attachment - let's call it more of a habitual action. I have an OCD about doing something every day, probably 20-30 times at least. It's a disease, really. And I don't know how to cope with it. It was just this past Sunday that I was forced into withdrawal. My vicious habit was ripped out from under my fingertips! I couldn't take it. What was I to do without my best pal?

Yes, my friends, my computer crashed. Now it didn't exactly crash in the sense that I couldn't turn it on (I really would've freaked!). But the younger-than-me-techie at the Genius Bar told me that I'd be needing to hand over my iBook for repair. And what followed wasn't pretty.

I found myself wandering around aimlessly in my house when I'd return home from work every night. What was I to do without a computer? Actually, I had to complete an assignment on Sunday after I surrendered my baby. So I reluctantly dragged myself over to the Dell we have downstairs that we bought probably when I was a freshman in high school, ie. it's getting up there in years! It was the slowest, most frustrating process ever.

Then, during the beginning of the week, I found that I didn't know what to do with myself at night. I actually sat in my bed and watched television (not that there's anything on) and felt irritated and stressed! I did my nails, hung out with my mom for a bit, and went to sleep early. Who has the time for such luxuries?!

It was through this time that I realized how dependent I am on technology. And the irony of it all is that I absolutely loathe technology. You can't always make things go your way and a co-dependent relationship is probably the worst kind to have! I need to know that when I need something, I can rely on my trusty laptop to provide me with support. However, I also need to know that I can stand on my own and that I don't need to always rely on that machine. Obviously, it can let you down at any time.

In the end, everything turned out OK. My computer is fixed, it's back in my possession, and I can go back to compulsively checking my email. I have to wonder, however, what would I ever do without my technology? Imagine I didn't have a cell phone?! Now, that's just out of control.
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