Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy 175th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto!

If you’re saying, “The battle of whaat??” then read this.

Two years ago today -- on the 173rd anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto -- I wrote a post entitled “Rules to live by: (1) Always post a sentry during the afternoon siesta; (2) Choose your underwear very carefully” that is also about the Battle of San Jacinto. You can read it here.

Texan to the end (though not a native -- I was transplanted there at the age of six from Rhode Island and left for Florida when I was 20), I cannot resist letting you know that the San Jacinto Monument near Houston is 55 feet taller than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

I reckon I done done my duty as a Texan, and I’m glad. I’m also glad I never learned to talk the way my classmates did.

[P.S. -- I once heard actress Betty White, who has lived in California most of her life and is an actual graduate of Beverly Hills High School, say “San Hah-cheen-toh” on television. While this is the correct way to pronounce it in Spanish, Texans don’t say it in Spanish. They say it in Texan: “Sanja Sinta” it is, now and forever, world (or at least the Lone Star State) without end, Amen. --RWP]


  1. I wonder if Betty didn't know how the battle was pronounced in Texas. I suspect she got some angry letters.

  2. Snow (and good to see you up and about, by the way), I think Betty just knows her Spanish and most of the Anglos in Texas probably don't.

  3. I have Texan cousins ! Yes my large family stretches all over the globe! When they visit they say " you all " and "honey child" to keep us amused and we break into "g'day mate", "crickey" and other Oz speak.
    Some of our place names that come from the Aboriginal languages (like Indooroopilly, Toowoomba,and Woolongabba ) cause visitors to stumble and New Zealand throws some very interesting place names into the mix.Its one of the things that make the world such an interesting place don't you think?

  4. "I think Betty just knows her Spanish and most of the Anglos in Texas probably don't."

    It don't matter none because the only thing of importance to local people is local pronunciations. For instance, there's a town in Mississippi called Monticello. If you pronounce it MontiCHELLo, ain't nobody going to congratulate you on your Italian. They're just going to laugh at you because you don't know how to pronounce the name of their town. I will grant you, though, that things aren't always so clear-cut, as in Texas where two different cultures with two different pronunciations exist in proximity. In such a situation, you face the Hobson's Choice of deciding which one you're going to insult.

  5. Helsie, your place names that come from the Aboriginal language sound just like the speaking in tongues that occurs down to the Pentecostal Church.

    Snow, I know just what you mean about not saying MontiCHELLo in Mississippi: you'd be laughed off the street in Atlanta if you ever mentioned Ponce de Leon because our street with that moniker is pronounced PONTS duh LEE-on instead of PAWN-tha daily ON and our Houston County is HOUSE-ton, not HYOOS-ton like the one in Texas.

  6. And down by the Florida border we have Cairo, which is pronounced Kay-roh, like the syrup.

  7. Well if I don't know how to pronounce the name of a place I just begin speaking in African click language. Of course I don't know what I am saying but I can do a mean click. I wonder if the clicks sound different depending on what part of Africa you are in. Oh another great post for you to do research on Bob!

  8. Egghead/Vonda, very funny! And a great idea! Maybe after Easter is over I will do just that! I already know that you are referring to the Xhosa language, and that speakers of it included Miriam Makeba and Nelson Mandela.