Friday, October 23, 2009


You know, if there is a better accent in this world than Irish or Scottish (speaking English), I have yet to encounter it. No matter what anyone has ever said to me in either of these dialects, I have never taken it harshly, or thought the speaker might be twisting me, or anything like that -- even if they were (and, surely, sometimes they were). It always seems out of the Old Worlde, innocent and pure, as if they are still plowing the dales with bright green grass or staring in an Irish Spring soap commercial. (Yes, I know that's ridiculous.) The Irish guys I knew in graduate school (and, if you're an undergraduate reading this, a full half the reason you should go to graduate school is to expose yourself to people from other countries, especially if you're a cloistered American) were all universally loved, even if their personal hygiene was not always up to American standards. They just had the knack. I've always wanted to have that knack, but I've never had it, and I never will. I should forget about it, but such fantasies die hard.

Me, on summer vacation near the end of my graduate education, with my grandparents in Pennsylvania:

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