Linguistic drift

When it comes time to drink to an occasion, my mother is prone to utter “Slainte!”, an Irish toast she acquired from her New York Irish upbringing. Like all Irish words, “slainte” is not pronounced the way it’s spelled; it’s pronounced, roughly, “slahn-chyuh”. My mother, however, tends to say “shlanta”; that is, she pronounces an Irish word such that it sounds like a Yiddish word. If that doesn’t say something about the metaphysical state of being a New Yorker, I don’t know what does.

Originally published on LiveJournal