Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tartan Accents and Associated Randomness

Tony Black on Tartan Noir in The Scotsman.

Gordon Ferris' readers struggle with the accent. 'At's braw, ye ken? And, talking of accents, how about this (via the lovely Michael Malone). It reminds me of the first time I went to visit my friend Bobbie in Illinois and my luggage didn't arrive (as opposed to the second time I went to visit Bobbie in Illinois and my luggage didn't arrive). The nice lady at the Whoops, We've Misplaced Your Luggage place gave me a number to ring. It was an automated number. The nice robot asked me my surname.

"Moore", I said.

"I'm sorry, did you say HUANG?" said the automated voice.

"No, I said Moore" I said patiently.

"I'm sorry, did you say IRRGZ?" said the automated voice

"No, I said MOORE" I said.

Silence and a few clicks on the phone.The nice robot decided to try a different tack. "Please give your reference number."

"5 4 8 Z P O X" I said.

"I'm sorry, did you say 3 7 9 Q W A D?"

"No, I said 5 4 8 Z P O X."

"I'm sorry, did you say 6 1 2 N Y K L?"

I decided to try an American accent, to see if this would work. I was quite impressed with myself.

"I'm sorry, did you say your name was Scarlett O'Hara and that you were from Brooklyn?" said the voice, not sorry at all.

A review of Alex Gray's SLEEP LIKE THE DEAD. And the Nerd of Noir reviews CALIFORNIA by Ray Banks.

Philip Kerr will be appearing at the Boston Public Library on April 21st. And Gillian Galbraith will be doing a short library tour of Edinburgh (that's a short tour, not a short library). And, talking of tours, how about the Bookworm's Tour of Scotland? Hmmmmm, not much crime fiction there, methinks.

Margot Kinberg puts the spotlight rather splendidly on Ian Rankin's EXIT MUSIC.


  1. Donna - First, thanks so much for mentioning my post. I really appreciate it :-).

    And I have to say, when I read about your experience with the 'phone robot, I laughed out loud. That kind of thing has happened so much to me that I sometimes wonder where those computer systems get their ideas of how people should be pronouncing things.

  2. That sounds like my cell phone's voice dial function. I go to call my wife, "Call Tammy" I say. Moronic robot with sickeningly sweet female voice replies, "Calling Ish". I hang up and dial manually!

    Just to warn you, my wife and I just started reading Old Dogs last night so here in a few weeks or so I'll be obliged to review it! :)

  3. Oh Donna, that video of voice recognition of Scotland accents in the lift, is the funniest ever, tears of laughter streaming down my face now...and I can't believe that the elevator twit didn't understand them, I did! And I'm from the cornfields of Illinois! Methinks it's some sort of prejudice! And I want to hear OLD DOGS done, in audio, by a Glaswegian who knows the Glasgow accent! That would be brilliant! :-) And yes, you went through luggage hell trying to get here, but we had a grand visit. :-)

    Also, that piece about Ian Rankin's EXIT MUSIC, was brilliant! She says so well, what Rankin does so well. :-) Rebus...what a series! I miss him loads, always will, but would read a cereal box written by Rankin, he's a cracking good writer!

    Once again, thanks for the wonderful blog.

  4. Margot - you're welcome. And I think they do it for fun :o)

    Book Nut - haha! And...oh dear!

    Bobbie - we did indeed have a grand time - and I hope I can come back soon x