The English Language

A week or two ago, a I met a young Scotsman  who has become one of my friends. At the time, he asked me what my name was.

Me: “Laura.” (pronounced Lara)

Kent: “Does your name have a u in it?”

Me: “Yes.”

Kent: “Well, then it’s Laura.” (pronounced Lora)

Now, usually when I introduce myself, I pronounce it Lara, and people immediately ask “is it Lara or Lora?” To which I’ve always wanted to respond, “Tell me what I just said. Did I stutter?”

But instead I say: “It doesn’t matter.”

And they say: “Well which do you prefer to be called?”

And I say: “I don’t care.”

“Well what do your parents call you?”

“Both.”

“What? Really?”

“My mom calls me Lara and my dad calls me Lora. Apparently they argued about it before I was born and still don’t agree.”

“Oh, okay then.” And usually they end up calling me Lara except a few brave souls.

So when Kent decidedly told me my name was Lora, I was kind of thrown off balance. But I wasn’t about to argue with someone who was from the place where my native language originated. I mean, like Americans know how to speak English, right? They’re kind of just making it up, because they came over from England and were no longer connected to the trends of the English language, so they developed their own trends and eventually it became two languages. How many websites do you go to that offer translations from US to UK English? And maybe even different for Australian? Philosopher’s Stone vs Sorcerer’s Stone? I mean really. So I’m not about to tell a British citizen that he doesn’t know how his language works, because it’s actually us Americans that don’t know what we’re talking about when it comes to English.

Then I began to notice, people who saw my name in print first here, every single one of them calls me Lora. There is no question, there is no doubt in their minds that my name is Lora, not Lara. And I’m in the habit of introducing myself as Lara, but when people started saying “Oh, like Lara Croft?” I can’t really say yes, because that’s Lara not Laura. So I’ve started introducing myself as Lora. And everyone gets it. Lora=Laura. No question.

So sorry, Mom, I guess Dad was right. My name is Lora, not Lara.

In further interest, in eating dinner tonight with Kent and a few other boys, they started faking American accents because they were saying some things that were hard for us Americans to catch on to. And I absolutely LOVE that they play around faking American accents (particularly when they want to sound uneducated and rough) just like we fake British accents (when we want to sound formal and educated).

Just for entertainment, here is a video I thoroughly enjoy of Brits faking American accents:

And here is a helpful link for words that Brits use differently than Americans: 20 British Words

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4 responses to “The English Language

  1. Haha. I love that clip. Hilarious.
    How do I pronounce your name? I have been sitting here saying both over and over in my head and I can’t figure out which way I normally say it…..I feel like Lora…but maybe then maybe not. Do I say it both ways depending on my mood?

    • I think you say Lora. Usually people switch to Lora after they’ve known me for a long time, but there was that year when you and Rachael and Austin all called me Lowra with the Spanish r…and somehow that usually turns into Lora.

  2. Here in Australia you’d be Lora too 🙂 Such a great attitude you have! I have Finnish relatives and they pronounce my name differently. It really doesn’t matter does it.

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