The only thing that could have made it better would have been if he'd attached "(Mrs.)" right after his signature. But that might have given the game away.
that added touch in the signature?
Once again, the jokes go over my head. In formal correspondence that is unrelated to my law practice, I sometimes identify myself as MAJ (Ret.) Idealist.
[sorry to be slow]
I love it. Mr. B. was so excited to get his promotion to Major (oddly, *after* he left the AF) so that when he gets old he can make people call him "the Major." Totally goofball.
You apparently didn't watch the Monty Python TV show. They had a repeated segment of letters to the editor, generally being outraged about something ridiculous in very much the tone of this guy, and signed something along the lines of Ramsbottom J. Candyfloss, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) (Mrs.).
He's hit the tone closely enough that I think there's a shot that he's actually playing off Monty Python. Even if not, he's a funny guy.
Even if not, he's a funny guy.
[thanks for the explanation]
Being a vicar is also good for this sort of thing.
Yeah, I sometimes wonder if I can pull it off with the professor thing. Alas, probably not. Maybe when I'm older.
3: Does he have plans for an expansive white walrus-like moustache? I don't think he can make people call him "The Major" without one.
Dear god, don't even suggest it. He's done the Hitler 'stache, the waxed-curled-up-at-the-ends 'stache, the porn 'stache... he doesn't need any help coming up with goofy ass shit to do with his facial hair, believe me.
Oh, also the 30's-style pencil 'stache, I forgot.
the waxed-curled-up-at-the-ends 'stache
Awesome. I hereby encourage him.
I don't think he can make people call him "The Major" without one.
Uh, when you really are one, you do not need the mustache.
Uh, when you really are one, you do not need the mustache.
But the mustache is a valid alternative route to Major-hood, and in many ways easier.
Does anyone you know refer to you as "The Major"? Do you have an exuberantly walruslike white mustache?
To the best of my knowledge, No, and No.
11: It's easy for you, you're not his wife.
I really hope you do encourage your husband's facial hair experiments.
Does anyone you know refer to you as "The Major"?
I was informed by one of the paralegals that this was their nickname for me (no doubt there are others). When I was a kid, my nickname was Sarge (from the TV show, Combat), so I have progressed as I have aged. I actually prefer Sarge (having been a superlatively good Sergeant when I was a young soldier).
17: Don't confuse me with facts.
The thing about "The Major" as a nickname is how well it works as prelude to "Pain in the Butt" or "A*hole" or something similar.
I'm open to the possibility that some men should not have mustaches, but I can't think of any good reasons off the top of my head. Personal preference and social conventions not being sufficient, imv
As a woman married to a man most visually at home lurking in the background of a photograph of a Civil War headquarters (there is substantial shagginess), I think everyone should have the facial hair they can carry off with aplomb.
And spare a thought for those unfortunates who can't achieve anything more than scraggly chin growth -- the dreaded scrotee.
Only on Scrotee Day, and only for one minute. And then laugh.
"Dogg I cannot brook the gossamer bloatee."
so that when he gets old he can make people call him "the Major."
You'll have to move to a small English town like Tilling and scheme to become the social queen bee. Your competitors will refer to you as "the Major's Lady, that Bitch".
I have had for going on 8 years, a nice bushy goatee and moustache -- recently I have been trying to go for the sideburns and the line along the bottom of the jaw connecting burns to goatee -- what is that line called? I tend to think of it as "mutton-chops" even when there is hair on the chin but I know this is inaccurate -- but it is coming in pretty unevenly so far.
He's right, though -- I always thought he was much taller too. Now it turns out he's just my height, and presumably just as skinny.
In fact, now I realize that I've never seen myself and bin Laden in the same place. Plus I wake up exhausted every morning, with a huge beard...
You're not supposed to sleep with the beard, Kotsko. Go out with her in public.
a small English town like Tilling
I would probably rather die.
He's done the Hitler 'stache,
And doesn't he have the accent to go with it? (Or is that revealing too much?)
If he does have the accent, or can at least do the accept, he must have been terrifying at parties.
I did the goatee for some time, until one day it's gossamer properites finally got through to me. I guess it's the same gene that makes a man think his comb-over is fooling people.
The face dandruff lost it's appeal too.
I had a goatee once when I cut myself rather badly on the chin while shaving and I decide it was easier to just let the hair grow out while it healed.
30: No, his accent is variously generic and, when drunk, Southern, or else mimicking the very formal cadences of his father's (heavily accented) English. He can *do* the accent at will, though, of course. Luckily, his hair is very non-Hitlerian, being thick and curly.
He's not terrifying at parties, except for the fact that (maybe because of the flexible accent thing) he also, when drunk, tends to mimic the accent of people he's speaking with, and once mortified me half to death by unconsciously mimicking the English accent of a prof in my department.
tends to mimic the accent of people he's speaking with
I do that too sometimes, subconsciously.
29: That's what makes it so amusing to imagine. It could be like Mapp and Lucia meets Reservoir Dogs.
Does he also subconciously mimic the facial hair of whoever he's talking to?
36: Everyone does, but really, this was just completely obvious and cringey.
38: Not that I've noticed. You might try asking Emerson.
I recall reading at LanguageHat or Language Log or someplace similar that in most places taking up the accent of the person you are talking to is considered polite.
I'm not actually going to confirm this vague memory.
Not if they notice you doing it, surely.
Not if they notice you doing it, surely.
I don't think it makes any sense to say of a behavior, it is polite but only if it is not noticed. Am I wrong?
Presumably it's polite if their accent is the majority one in the area. Not so much otherwise.
I used to have a goatee, but it slowly morphed into a full beard-like thing as I got lazier about shaving. Now I only have to trim it every few days to look at least marginally presentable.
I do the accent thing too, I switch into them really easily. They sometimes last for a while, too. I kept the little twang I developed when working for the DCCC in Kentucky for a few weeks after, and a Canadian philosophy professor had me saying oot and aboot for months after the class ended.
As a brit living in the US, I can tell you that it's intensely annoying when someone mimics my accent. Not offensive -- no-one has ever done it to me meaning to be offensive -- but simply annoying, because they're trying to be funny, and so you have no choice but to smile politely, though you have heard the joke one billion times before. My heart goes out to B's husband's interlocutor.
Not that B's husband was trying to be funny. But I bet the prof he was talking to thought he was.
My English roommate literally can't understand me unless I inflect my accent a little Britishwards. It's like her ears are not attuned to consonantless variable dipthongs or something.
Oh, you meant "adverTIZment." Sorry, John Bull.
49.--Pretty much, 'cept that I don't apologize.
I can see why that's annoying. As a Scot it's quite bad everywhere. A LOT of people seem to think they can do the accent.
If they are quite good at it, you get some half-arsed Sean Connery impression. Otherwise, they sound like Groundskeeper Wullie* wearing a gimp mask.
* Whose accent is so bad I can only assume it's an intentional joke on the part of the Simpsons people.
Yah, you should really only try to mimic native speakers of your own language.
I find myself sometimes mimicing an, um, ebonic accent. Never in condescension, but more often when I'm looking for a voice of inassailable authority for some weighty pronouncement like I'm looking for my inner MLK/Muddy Waters. Is this wrong?
The mimmicking I was talking about wasn't a full blown impersonation...merely the slight kind of vowel shift one generally does unconsciously. It is part of a suite of unconscious habits which include adopting the posture of the person you are talking to. The mechanisms behind all of these habits seem to be designed to promote comity, as they say around these parts, and it actually seems silly to think of the resulting behaviors as rude.
I think I remember that piece. Wasn't there also something about deference and dominance?
Right, but if you are the local person and the person you are mimicking has a noticeably different accent, that person is likely to find it rude and perhaps assume you are mocking them.
Yes there was. Dominance had some bearing on who adopted whose accent.
Now I want to go find the piece, but I have to go do childcare.
We had a discussion of that here. It's not accent but fundamental frequency.
What is 'fundamental frequency'?
I think I'm more likely to adopt the accent (if that's the word for it) if it's one of the ones I like the sound of: Pikuni and St. Cloud Minnesota, for example.
It's the baseline frequency of your voice when you're speaking: the rate of vibration of your vocal cords. The comments to the linked post have further explanation.
In junior high, my science teacher had laryngitis and spent about a week whispering to the class. Once she asked a question and called on me, and I whispered my answer back to her, unconsciously. I was worried she was going to be mad, but she seemed to think it was funny.
She had a standard Davison, Mich., accent, and so did I, so that factor didn't come into play.
46 is it, exactly. And yeah, I recognize that I do 54 (and most people do), but that's not the same.
Hey, what happened to the post above this one?
Yeah, I guess so. But why? She seems to have left a comment on it not too long ago, but it's gone now along with all the others.
The comment still exists in one of the rss feeds.
She seems to have left a comment on it not too long ago, but it's gone now along with all the others.
From her comment, I infer that she had more to say on the post and has taken it down to finish it.
Or maybe the discussion of the chicago LB freaked her out.
Or maybe the Chicago LB can to New York, captured the New York LB, and they are even as we speak fighting for control of her keyboard.
It's back. I half-wrote it this morning, and thought I'd saved it unpublished, but apparently I'd published it. It's finished now.
I used to have a 'Samoan' accent -- honestly (I don't think) not condescending, but I was talking to a lot of kids with very weak English, and they followed me much better if I adopted their rhythms and intonation. It was fine in Samoa, but every so often (less so of late, but it lasted quite a while) I'd catch myself speaking that way if the person I was speaking to was not fluent in English. I just hope they thought I was very weird, rather than rude.
I got conditioned the same way living in Japan, along with a few other people I knew. An fellow teacher told me once that he'd recently called his sister in England; it was the first time they'd spoken in months, and she interrupted to ask, "Nick, are you alright? You're talking like a fucking idiot."
Here's an odd thing, speaking of accents. My older brother has 7-year-old twins. They live in Natick, MA, and the female twin has developed a Boston accent, but the male twin hasn't (neither my brother nor his wife have it, but plenty of the kids' playmates and teachers likely do). A similar thing has happened with my daughters, who are 3. Thing 2 has these broad Brooklynese vowels, completely unlike Thing 1, as well as other distinct speech patterns -- like she'll say "mama" on a rising major third, whereas her sister will do it in minor. These little differences, incidentally, help to take the edge off the "Boys From Brazil" vibe you can get from being around multiples.
Oh, this looks like a good thread to ask a question I've been wanting an answer to since forever.
What do we US people sound like to Brits? We (the colonists) know what you royalists sound like to us, but we just sounds, you know, normal to ourselves, but I assume we sound just as... divergent in some way to you as you to do us.