I’ve always had a slight problem with women who speak like Sasha Grey. Women who sound basically mallish and fringe-suburban. Like they work the checkout at Gelson’s or something. Listen to Grey ask, “Do you have anything specific in mind?” and the way she pronounces the last word as a hastened two-sylllable thing — “maayeend” — as opposed to how Angelina Jolie or Faye Dunaway in Chinatown or Obama foreign-affairs aide Samantha Power or Angie Dickinson in Dressed to Kill might say it.
I’m just saying there’s an entire culture of women out there, tens of millions of them, who speak like Grey, and I for one find it enormously deflating. Because I slightly wince inside every time I hear their inflections and the way they tend to slaughter the beauty of the English language by making it sound common and coarse. Does anyone “maayeend” if I say this?
I’m speaking as a sinner myself, or at least as someone who has slightly mispronounced my own last name for decades. I’d never heard my last name pronounced properly until a British sales guy at a British Airways office in London said it during a visit in 1980 . “Wow,” I said to myself. “So that‘s how it’s pronounced. I’ve been saying it wrong my whole life. Or rather, my New Jersey accent has prevented me from making it sound as good as the guy in the British Airways office.”