Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nebraskan Language

To begin my touring in '08 I find myself in Nebraska, home of corn, cows, and the hometown of comedy legend Johnny Carson, which is Norfolk, NE, where I had my show last night.

Norfolk. Spelled like the Norfolk in Virginia, so one would think to pronounce it "Norfoke," or "Norf#&k" as the genteel folk in Virginia do.

Nope. It's pronounced "Nor-Fork" with a definite 'R' sound instead of an 'L' sound before the K. Of course I didn't find this out until after my show, so everytime I asked the crowd "Are you ready to rock, Norfoke?" I was making even more of an ass of myself than I usually intend.

Turns out they do that a lot here in Nebraska, it's their fun little way of instantly identifying outsiders. Me saying "Norfoke" instantly makes me sound like a snob, a carpet-bagger, someone with too much fancy phonics learnin' from shows like Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

They continue the trend elsewhere in the state where the town Beatrice is pronounced "Be-YAT-trice" in an apparent homage to Snoop Dogg. I wonder if the radio stations say things like "That was 'Love Me Do' by the BeeYATles."

But the shows have been fun so far, and tonight I'm at Doane College in Crete. Which I'm sure is pronounced "crate" or "cruton" or something. I'll remember to ask before I go on stage.


At 3:57 PM, Blogger unknown anon said...

You should-oughta have asked. I'm a Cornhusker (ironically enough from roundabout Bee-yat-riss), and I would have edjeecated you in how to parley the Corn....

Don't let them feed you the prarie oysters.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Christian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Haha, Doane is in my college's athletic conference, and I made fun of the people of Norfolk for pronouncing it "NorFORK" in High School. Dammit, I wish I woulda known you were so close, it would have been a blast to be at one of your shows.


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