Voilà
Posted: 15 October 2014 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I was watching Storage Wars Canada and one of the buyers, Roy, whilst going through a locker, opened a box he had high hopes of with a triumphant voy-lay. They then cut to him being interviewed after editing where the buyers read out ripostes scripted for them but Roy was seen leaning forward sheepishly and saying “It’s vwah-la? OK.” which clearly wasn’t scripted and had been prompted by a remark made by someone behind the camera.

Is this just Roy? It would make sense if he knew no French and had only ever read the word or only ever heard other people mispronouncing it in his language community far from Quebec.

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Posted: 15 October 2014 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You sure that wasn’t scripted?

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Posted: 15 October 2014 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I am betting it was.

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Posted: 15 October 2014 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve heard it pronounced “viola!” ironically by somebody in college as well as “wellah!” by somebody who was a real down home working class guy from Oakland who had spent a lot of time in Montana building log homes, and who probably wouldn’t have even recognized the correct French spelling.

Wouldn’t surprise me if this was scripted, as Americans tend to get French pronunciations wrong unknowingly while other Americans make fun of them. Witness “boocoo” for beaucoup, which used to be pretty common, but that was definitely unwitting. Educated people might say “gar-con!” as a joke word for waiter, for example. But even a complete ignoramus would know enough to pronounce “voila” as “voy-la” not “voy-lay”.

I’ve never seen the show. The fact that it’s Canadian makes the idea that it was scripted even more compelling. Dave, in his newer and more northerly locale might have a better view.

[ Edited: 15 October 2014 05:54 PM by Iron Pyrite ]
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Posted: 15 October 2014 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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But even a complete ignoramus would know enough to pronounce “voila” as “voy-la” not “voy-lay”.

The correct pronunciation is: vwä-ˈlä

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Posted: 16 October 2014 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Logophile - 15 October 2014 07:10 PM

But even a complete ignoramus would know enough to pronounce “voila” as “voy-la” not “voy-lay”.

The correct pronunciation is: vwä-ˈlä

It’s a joke, son.

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Posted: 16 October 2014 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Faldage - 16 October 2014 02:30 AM

Logophile - 15 October 2014 07:10 PM
But even a complete ignoramus would know enough to pronounce “voila” as “voy-la” not “voy-lay”.

The correct pronunciation is: vwä-ˈlä

It’s a joke, son.

Yes, too late, I realized it after I had already posted my comment. Delete, delete, delete.

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Posted: 17 October 2014 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Speaking of jokes, my lovely wife and I have taken to saying, “And Viola’s your aunt.”

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Posted: 17 October 2014 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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It wasn’t scripted. The parts that are are painfully obvious as on Pawn Stars. I wouldn’t have asked otherwise. The scripted, one-second remarks inserted after editing are always meant to be witty or outraged except in abashed Roy’s case re voylay. And his utterance of the word originally in the locker was completely deadpan and spontaneous. Roy’s character is annoying and he has clearly been told to play this up by the producers. He fancies himself as a bit of a player though and would never agree to revealing himself as a voylaying ass. Who cares? You’d need to watch all three seconds to decide. They do find interesting stuff occasionally but never address the reasons for the lockers having been abandoned: death, illness, divorce, impecunity, bankruptcy, incarceration. Only once did I see a buyer show compassion - “This is their wedding album. These have photos of them with their children as they grow up. I will return these to them” and flog everything else.

The whole format is a con because the “characters” only ever win lockers and I bet the TV production company bankrolls their bids and certainly pays them for appearing on the programme. Chumlee off Pawn Stars is paid handsomely to impersonate a halfwit and apparently revealed on American Top Gear that he now drives a Maserati. All reality telly is predicated on its audience being addlepates except me, of course, who could tell Roy wasn’t faking it. It goes without saying I’d prefer to watch Antiques Roadshow but one simply can’t view it here, don’t you know.

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Posted: 17 October 2014 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It seems to me that, in Canada, deliberately affecting ignorance of even a well-known (to English-speakers) French word could be a way of thumbing one’s nose at the Francophone minority.

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