Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Innuendo alert

Yesterday in the recording studio.....

One of the unique challenges - and dependable amusements - of this recording work I do so much of is that most of the time we are reading single sentences in isolation, completely devoid of a context.

Sometimes these sentences will be so odd that it is difficult to imagine any possible context.

More often, they will be so commonplace that they could be used in many different contexts - but without any further guide as to the author's intention (we never see the complete book - illustrations, exercises, questions, answers, etc.; only the the script for the accompanying listening tapes), we have no idea what would be the appropriate intonation.

And then, just occasionally, we get a sentence for which we can rather too readily imagine a context - but it's a context that would not be at all appropriate for teaching basic English to middle school students.

Things like......

"Uncle Peter lets us play with his monkey."
(Oh, really? Is that what he calls it?)


"What about this pretty girl?"
(Whassa matter? You not like any of my girls? You queer or something? Hey, I give you a good price, huh. I give you a deal. Two-for-one, whadya say?)


Oh, I could go on...... but you might start thinking I was some sort of pervert!

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