Friday, February 1, 2008
Often when Ryan or I are introducing Molly to someone we meet around town, they will misunderstand her name and ask, "Miley? Like Miley Cyrus?" or they will simply say, "Miley, that's such a cute name!" As a result, I've been trying to really accentuate the short "o" sound as I say her name. Yesterday, in Ace Hardware, a familiar scenario unfolded. The cashiers peered closer to the baby in order to get a good look. They asked her name. I responded, "Molly". Like usual, one of the girls told me how much she liked the name Miley. I explained to them my dilemma. One of the girls suggested that Texans would say her name with an "aw" sound instead of an "ah" sound. She told me, "Mawly, like the mall." So, it would be M"aw"lly instead of M"ah"lly. It was an epiphany to me as I left the store and pondered this. Of course, a fine girl from Texas wouldn't walk a mile, instead she'd walk a "moll". Additionally, a child here would play with a "dawl" not a "doll". So, as I drive, I'm repeatedly saying "Mahlly" and "Mawlly" in order to discern the difference. When we midwesterners say her name, we make the vowel sound in the top of our mouth and toward the front. When I say "Mawlly" I can feel the air resonating much lower in my throat. Ah ha! Finally, it is clear to me why they call it a southern dr"aw"l!