Wednesday, April 09, 2008

On the University of Kansas chant "Rock Chalk Jayhawk": Supposedly, "rock chalk" refers to the kind of stone that makes up the rather grandly named Mount Oread, the hill the university is built on top of. And let me tell you, in the winter the freezing north wind blows like hell up there. As the lame joke goes, there's nothing between Kansas and the North Pole but a barbed-wire fence, and that's down. I've never been anywhere where I felt colder.

One reason I always thought the chant was dumb is that the words don't even rhyme. It wasn't until I took phonetics that I figured out that it didn't rhyme in my accent, but it does in many other American accents. See, many Americans would pronounce it "Rock Chock Jayhock," with all the words rhyming. I pronounce "chalk" with the L sound, though, and I pronounce "hawk" with an AW sound, as in "saw" or "caught," rather than an AH sound as in "father" or "cot."

1 comment:

Akaky said...

here it's RAHK CHAWK JAYHAWWK, but that's just NY, I guess