March 21, 2003

The Best and Worst of the City of Brotherly Love

Arranged in Thoroughly Random and Unrelated Pairings

PHILADELPHIA - LOVE IT: The Sound of Music. Few American cities can top Philadelphia when it comes to music, particularly classical music, with regular performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Opera Company of Philadelphia,the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Philomel, and the orchestra, chamber groups, and soloists of the Curtis Institute of Music.

A variety of performances and shows are staged at the major performing arts centers, including the Kimmel Center, the Annenberg Center, and the Mann Center, as well as the Academy of Music.

Finally, the Comcast Spectacor-First Union Complex, Tweeter Center, the Electric Factory, and countless other venues as listed at the Miller Time Network and in each issue of the Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Weekly offer more popular music than I would ever care to hear.

PHILADELPHIA - HATE IT: The Accent. (Also known as PhillySpeak.) I have been thinking about writing a few words about the regional accent here but I hesitated, fearing I might offend some readers. However, over time I have come to realize that nobody living in or hailing from Philadelphia or the surrounding area who speaks with the local accent will admit to doing so. As a result, there apparently is no one to be offended.

It's difficult to describe an accent to a person not familiar with it while relying only the printed (or published) word, so perhaps a few examples with my crude attempts at universally recognizable hyphenation will suffice:

First of all, Philadelphians aren't from Philadelphia, they are from Fulladullfyuh.

Philadelphians are never cold, they're code.

A Philadelphia would never place something on the coffee table; instead the object would be placed awn the table, or more accurately, awnna table.

Philadelphians won't give you change for a dollar, but they might give you four cooders in exchange for a dah-er.

Philadelphians are never going to do anything, they're gawnna do it.

Philadelphia don't drink water, they drink wooder. (They also have an unusual way of pronouncing Coke -- with two syllables -- but I can't get the transcription quite right.)

Philadelphians don't work on Wednesdays, but they do work on Winz-deeze.

Philadelphians don't work on Thursdays either, but they do work on Thirsties.

Philadelphians don't use towels, they use tals.

Philadelphia's NFL team is not the Eagles, they're the Iggles. (Or worse, "the Birds.")

But the reason I like living here is because Philadelphians don't have an attitude, though I'll concede one can find a few denizens with an addey-tood.

[Post-publication addendum March 22: One entry corrected thanks to the suggestion of a helpful reader.]


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