Why I Can’t Say Mom
I can flex on a lot of things but I can’t say “Mom”. No, I can’t.
Mom just seems so wrong to me that it makes my lips twist and comes out like a bahhh-ing sheep.
Not because there's anything wrong with Mom. Far from it! Moms are good. It's just the word itself that feels weird in my mouth.
For “Mom" we say “Mum” and that feels fine. It's got the Goldilocks factor (you know: 'just right'). So anything else sounds totally phoney.
Of course, if you're American (or even Canadian in some parts) it's the exact opposite. Try wrapping your lips around the word Mum if you normally say Mom and you'll know what I mean.
This dialect and accent business isn't new. Neither is the weirdness of feeling your language is being messed around with. If merely saying Mom is hard for another English speaker, consider how people in non-English speaking countries feel.
It must be bloody annoying to watch English swamp your much loved mother tongue. Especially when it sweeps away terms and words you love that you grew up with.
The French government actively does its linguistic bit to protect the language from being turned into a French flavoured English soup. But it's a hard slog.
I reckon English is really a dialect of German gone feral. Seriously. Which shows the whole language thing is enough to do your head in.
Take “Mutti”, which is German for “Mummy” (or "Mommy?”). It’s silly thinking your own way is the right way because “correct” all depends on where you happen to live. But that's how it goes.
That's why Mom seems wrong to a lot of English speakers. Even if American television and movies are in your face night and day, the word Mom feels wrong.
Yeah I know. I’m being a bit petty. Quibbling about Mum instead of Mom. Just like I choke on my chewy about how some perfectly words get the chop while some crappy words get the thumbs up.
Thanks to Twitter, movies, and the Internet in general, lots of beautiful English dialects are also vanishing. Going the way of the dodo. Not coming back. Not even for one last tour.
It's like people assuming everything is the same wherever people speak English. Like the girl on Twitter who told me, “My Mom and I are red sox fans.” Okay, so you like red socks. What's wrong with the other colours? Did the colours run in the wash? Or is it because the red ones go faster?
Same goes for people’s political bitching. It's not interesting if it's out of your own country. Because, from a distance, people fighting over politics on international forums just come across as cranky.
So here's the takeaway (our word for "takeout"). It's good to enjoy your own culture. But don't expect anyone else to understand what on Earth you're talking about.
I mean, look at me. I reckon 50% of the time people think I'm just nuts (which is true). But I hide behind the idea that it's mostly cultural. Well, that's my excuse.
I know people from different parts won't get some of it. But that's better than expecting everyone has to be the same as me (wouldn't that be weird?).
So, go ahead. Say Mom as much as you like if it's part of your lingo. No dramas. But for me, I'll have Mum anyday. She's good. Plus she makes a pretty nice apple slice!