Ian: A linguistic marvel

Listen, I love Ian.

Really.

But he talks weird.

In a hilarious way.

It’s true.

I would describe his speech as a hodgepodge of random consonant clusters, redundant vowels, rhyming and obscure pop-culture references.

It rubs off on me, too. Which is fine. Whatever. When I’m talking to him, I don’t notice. Sometimes we will quote viral videos to the point where they are not quotes anymore, they have become regular vocab. Have you seen this? If you have, good work. If not, remedy it immediately. How do you sleep nights? Becuse these babby cant frighth back. This is serious crap! Sometimes I have it on repeat in the background while I am doing homework. It soothes me. When I have a babby of my own, I will play that to her while I rock her to sleep.

Anyway, the video is all about the babbies. So I use that word instead of baby, and sometimes I say it to people who don’t know the video, and who have babies inside their stomachs or outside their stomachs, and then I am cruelly mocked because that’s the way my friends are.

Here is the proof that it is a real thing if you won't watch it.

Here is the proof that it is a real thing if you won’t watch it.

Another example. Person: “GUESS WHAT, [insert great thing that happened]!” Me: “Snoo snay, that is sno snood!” (translation: No way, that is so good!)

Here is a real life example from Ian.

“It is too cold! Too cold…snoo snold…”

That is genuinely a way that Ian talks, and now I talk that way, and it is all his fault.

As an English Linguistics major, I am required to do mini-studies a lot, and I frequently use Ian as my test subject. The results are intriguing. For one particular project I made notes about irregular speech patterns I heard, as well as recording him at least once a week for a semester. This lead to me recording a bunch of bizarre crap that I have become used to, but really, Ian is an odd duck. It’s hilarious. Some of these have some insular references that will be hard to understand if you are not from Provo, so I’ve provided helpful links. So you can get the jokes.

(Driving in the car, not saying much of anything. Suddenly Ian spoke.)

“Did you know Mark Wilburg used to be my dad?”

Just so you know. Ian has NO history with Mark Wilburg. No relation, no friendship-connection. They have never met. Later that day he had an eggo waffle served with cream cheese and half a block of cheddar grated and melted on top. That’s not relevant to Mark Wilburg, but it is disgusting.

(Driving to 7-11 to get a soda)

“Why is the Y lit up??? This must be what hell feels like.”

When the Y is lit up, it’s pretty low key. Just a shiny Y on the mountain. Kind of fun. Before this declaration, Ian had never expressed displeasure concerning putting electric lights on mountains in the shapes of modern roman letters. Nor has he since. When I pressed him for details on what made this incident so hellish, I was given none.

(A conversation between Ian and me, while walking on campus)

Me: “I thought that was a joke.”

Ian: “Would I joke about that?”

Me: “You joke about everything.”

Ian: “I know. That was a joke.”

And, to take us out…

(I am trying to get a pot out of the cupboard, so it’s noisy. Ian suddenly rushes out of the bathroom.)

Ian (who upon seeing me, and what I am doing, is very disappointed): “Oh, I thought you were getting out the toybox.”

Then he walked sadly away.

YES, WE HAVE A TOYBOX AND NO CHILDREN. Several. What? Maybe. Yes. K, bye.

Just some carrot sticks, no big deal.

You know the phrase, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? I have been attempting my 182nd diet–you know, to lose weight, be healthy, extend my life span–and I’m trying to find a good mantra. But I don’t think that’s the one. I remember being skinny. I know what it’s like. And while I guess it feels good, it’s not something one consciously thinks about. All of my problems did not float away. Could that apathetic feeling really compete with delicious food?

It’s a toss-up. But not really. So…maybe  this will be my mantra: “Nothing tastes good enough to compensate for that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when I try to put on a pair of jeans that fit two months ago, but now will not squeeze over my ample buttocks.”

I just feel like it’s more truthful. And descriptive. And motivating.

About a month ago I was digging through my backpack while sitting on the floor in front of some vending machines and found some ibuprofen, a dirty fork, and–here’s the good AND relevant part–a few bucks. It was time to splurge.

Normally if I get anything from the vending machine, it’s a bagel, because they are delicious and not too heinous in price. But I thought about my diet.

That was actually different diet than the one I am currently on–right now I am on a diet where you only eat paper–but you can eat all the paper you want. Jk, but if you can name that reference you will get butterfly kisses from a deer AND WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT.

Anyway, I thought guiltily about vow to be a healthy person and decided to get those carrot sticks that had been shoved into a smoothie cup with a tiny smidgen of ranch to dip in. I thought to myself, What could possibly go wrong??

Well, Marie, a lot of things. You just bought carrots from a vending machine. For ten times what they are worth. You bought expensive vegetables from a vending machine. GOSH, YOU KNOW NOTHING.

Huh. That just got tricky. Because now it’s future Marie lecturing past Marie, and I’m not sure how to smoothly get back to being past Marie…get out of here future Marie. No one likes a know-it-all.

So I bought those carrots, thinking that carrots are carrots, what could possibly go wrong, etc. But I underestimated them. I underestimated all of them. I left to go print out a paper, but I was really hungry, so I kept trying to dip carrots in ranch with my left hand while holding my computer and coat in my right hand, and such was my frenzy that for a few minutes I didn’t notice anything weird about those carrots. But when I settled down on a nice comfortable corner of carpet,and the ranch smidgen ran out, the truth couldn’t hide any longer.

My carrots tasted like Christmas trees. Whaaat? Yes. They tasted like Christmas trees. There is no other way to describe it. Actually. That is a lie. You can describe anything multiple ways, especially Christmas trees. Because they are also pine trees. But that’s not the point, the point is my carrots were crisp and not discolored, and not wet like baby carrots sometimes are when you buy them, but they tasted like Christmas trees and that offset the whole experience.

I mean, of course I ate them anyway. They were overpriced carrot sticks, what do you expect me to do? And remember: Christmas tree flavor or no Christmas tree flavor, they are still (probably) healthy, and being healthy makes me feel good about myself and gives me perceived moral high ground, which I enjoy. “Oh, you’re eating M&Ms? No thanks, I just ate some carrot sticks that tasted like Christmas trees…I eat vegetables ALL the time.” And then I laugh and toss my hair. It’s really fun, you should try it.

Later Ian tried some of the carrots and he didn’t agree that they tasted like Christmas trees, but he does not have a very sensitive palate. I know this because he used to eat pop-tarts and dry shredded wheat for dinner. And when I’m not around, he basically still does that.

And it wasn’t just that my mouth was being weird, like maybe I’d been around Christmas trees a lot that day. Because a few weeks later, I had a nearly identical situation. Bagel or carrots? Bagel or carrots? I chose carrots, because maybe the weird taste before was a fluke. Maybe those carrots had been grown next to a Christmas tree. Who knows. So in a moment of insanity, I purchased the carrot sticks again.

And GUESS WHAT. They tasted the same, yeah. It’s true. It’s so mysterious.

So a few days ago when I stopped by vending machines on campus, I didn’t waste time. I got a bagel: half the price, twice as good, and four times the calories. And that’s basically what happens when I try to be healthy.