On a national platform, Bostonians can receive a bad rap. Just look at Southie Rules. Or actually, don’t. It’s probably best not to look at that. And what about when we hear the beaten horse I’m gonna pahk my cah in the Hahvahd yahd? Ugh. We get it, Boston accent, lol. It’s overdone, considering how few people here actually talk like that.
But for some reason, the Dish Network decided to build an entire ad campaign surrounding that absent ‘R’ sound and other Bostonisms. ‘Talk Boston’ is meant to promote the Hopper, which, if you didn’t notice, ends in -er, so why not take this opportunity to remind us about Boston’s overplayed accent? …I don’t really get it either, but Dish has been milking this as campaign fodder for a while now, with the ‘Boston Guys.’ Sure, but this new website takes it to a new level.
The campaign website is set up as a tutorial to learn how to speak Boston, with intermittent reminders to learn more about Dish and to get an iPad 2 when you sign up for Dish. But the slogan reads: “Your complete guide to learning BOSTON as a second language… It ain’t HAD.” Oh, no. No no no nonono.
But, yes. It continues on throughout five sections as you scroll to the bottom. The clean, interactive graphics build as you scroll, which is kind of neat, but it’s all so tacky that it doesn’t really matter. One screen quips, “Rememba, Don’t say Hopper, say ‘HOPPA,’” before Section 1 begins, and we’re treated to a vocabulary lesson on shuckas (those who shuck oysters), b’dayda (which supposedly translates to ‘potato’), crulla (a cruller. OK.), Mawie (aka Marie – which I’m pretty sure implies an entirely different speech impediment) and the old standby, beeya. Section 2 is videos of someone in a classroom teaching phrases like “KAHKEEZ,” and I couldn’t bring myself to watch them, but I’m worried they’re going to soon surface during TV commercial breaks.
Next, you can take the test to find out just how Bostonian you are, but not before you’re banged over the head with the point of this ad campaign one more time: Did you know? In Boston, R’s are often pronounced “AH” – Meet me at the BAH. AH is in AH why is this happening…?
I took the test, which asks you to translate words like “kahmel” into “caramel,” “likka” into “liquor,” and “wicked pissah” into “super awesome.” I ranked as 45 percent Bostonian, and still somehow managed to keep scrolling down.
Now, do you want to translate all of your tweets into the Boston language? Of course not, but Section 4, the Twidda Translator, will let you do that. Don’t do that. And don’t search the hashtag #TalkBoston, or else you’ll find things like “Bin busy at wahk. Ken’t wait fawr the weekend, I need a beeya. #TalkBoston”
And finally, we reach Section 5, “Celebrity Alumni,” which is two videos – one of Paul Pierce giving awkward, forced line readings that use Boston words in a sentence, such as “Peetsir. A good reason to move to Brooklyn is the peetsir. I love good peetsir.” Sigh. The other is of Vincent Wilfork, or “Wilfahk,” who apparently drives around an orange freightliner as his car. Say it with me: carrrr.
Doesn’t this all just make you want to sign up for Dish Netwahk? No?