All Right/Okay

There are a number of little -- and I mean very little -- details in "Wilfair" and "Redwoodian" that sometimes catch my eye on re-visits.

I won't build them up, because I'm pretty sure none of them deserve a big stage, but here's one: Gomery says "all right" and Monty says "okay." (Though I think Gomery says "all right" more than Monty says "okay"; the popcorn box has a wider range of agreeable responses.)

I know, right? Hardly worth mentioning.

When you grow up with someone, and you're close, as Monty and Gomery are, your speech patterns tend to be rather close, too, of course; not an earth-shattering assertion, I know. So I do think the Overbove cousins express themselves in similar ways. (We're just talking speech styles here, not general expressiveness/desire to overshare, which one guy is miles ahead on.)

But there are always small differences; that's one for the cousins, the "all right/okay" factor. Another? Monty's more prone to contractions; he'll say "wanna" and Gomery will say "want to." Monty's very smart, but he thinks and talks pretty quickly, so I always hear the words tumbling out of his matinee idol mouth. He'll cut corners, speech-wise, to get his joke or occasional loving insult out more quickly.

Monty's also more comfortable with exclamation points, though Gomery is getting there near the end of "Redwoodian."

All that said, I've seen a few stray "okays" from Gomery, and Monty doesn't always use contractions; he just uses them more often than Gomery. It would be weird, to my eyes, if one cousin was always in one column and didn't occasionally sound like the person he's grown up with his whole life.

Yep, I'm just sitting here in LA, thinking WAY too much about minutia. I've got no excuse, except I rather like minutia.


Chiara said...

My nerdy side absolutely loves little observations like these!

Wilfair Book said...

Hooray for the nerdy side!

You are a big language maven so I'm sure you're forever catching little nuances like this when speaking with people.

I'm also interested in how people adopt little patterns of friends they're close with, too. I think that happens quite a bit.

If I'm with a friend who swears a bit more than I do I find myself getting a bit more colorful after hanging out with her. Likewise, if I'm with a quieter friend I find myself speaking more softly.

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