As I alluded to in a recent post, Dylan has started to pick up a bit of a transatlantic twang thanks to certain films and cartoons that he watches rather a lot. It was just the repetition of odd phrases at first, but he’s now experimenting with his pronunciation of other words in a different accent. And much as I love colloquialisms, I have to admit that the American drawl that is invading his vocabulary is starting to bother me.
When he’s annoyed, he either sings the lyric “You greedy dirtbag!” from The Lorax – which, by the way, is a wonderful film that I think highly of – or says “Reach for the sky” in the same menacing way that Woody does when scaring the living shit out of Sid in the first Toy Story film – which, by the way, I once thought was a wonderful film, until I saw it for the 97th time. Both with heavy accents. He also refers to groups of inanimate objects as “these guys” and has taken to calling me “big buddy”. I have no idea where that one came from.
I know it’s our own fault in part. Although we gently correct him every time he sounds like he’s from West Side Story or Deliverance – it varies from day to day – we’ve inadvertently reinforced it by getting him an educational tablet for Christmas which, of course, is voiced almost entirely by Americans. In the case of the Toy Story cartridge he was given so as not to feel left out on Xander’s birthday, it’s fair enough but why something as quintessentially English as Thomas the Tank Engine has to sound like he’s from the States is both beyond me and intensely annoying.
We also have a training toilet that plays music, sings and congratulates toddlers on their progress. And yes, that’s in American too. It wasn’t advertised as such, of course. One of the lyrics is “going potty’s just so great”; now I’m lucky enough not to have had mental health issues, but I’m pretty sure that our definition of ‘going potty’ is anything but ‘great’. So you can add things getting lost in translation to the irritation too.
This probably sounds like I haven’t got much time for our American cousins, far from it; without them we wouldn’t have The Walking Dead – which I sometimes love more than life itself – Terry Gilliam, Converse, the BritMums community – of course! – Bob Dylan and arrogantly big pizzas to name but a few things I love. It’s just that I want my children to speak how we speak. If I were American, I’d be just as irritated if my kids sounded like they were from Downton Abbey!
I suppose we should have seen this all coming from day one – he was born on Independence Day and has an Uncle Sam.
What do you think? Am I on my own here, or do you get irritated by such things too?