Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Knowing Things You Didn't Know You Knew

"We never know what we know in our native language.  If someone says something wrong, we can tell that it is wrong but we usually have absolutely no idea why."  As related by a pronunciation expert.

It's true.  But thankfully, due to instruction, we can learn what we know in our native language.

Here is a new MV that Beast released for their fans on Valentine's Day:  I keep watching it on repeat because it's just so fabulous and hilarious and addictive.

This has so much Beast flavor that I think the members themselves had some distinct input into this music video.  For one, finger skateboarding and dance break?  That has boy written all over it and let's face it, Beast is pretty much all boy.

Of course, half of the fun for me in watching these videos is their liberal and often interesting use of the English language.  From even the very beginning of the song: "Love is pain.  Love is sober."  Sober?  (I think they really might be trying to say 'over' but it honestly sounds like 'sober')  Another bonus is the closing frame with the word "Easy" written out in flames.  (Is this a reference to their song about that easy girl who got away?  You really don't want your girl to have that reputation)

The chorus though is what this post is really about.
"Mystery Mystery (girl) Mystery Mystery (scene) Mystery mystery (love)"

Mystery.  Does it sound wrong to any of the rest of you English speakers?  Do you know why?

Answer: the schwa.

In order to distinguish a word, we relegate the 'e' to a schwa which is little more than an 'uh', in order to de-emphasize the non-important syllable in the word that we recognize as "mystery".   (/ˈmist(ə)rē/)

Beast, however, never puts in a schwa and the result is the fabulous music video that sounds like this:
"Miss Terry Miss Terry (girl) Miss Terry Miss Terry (scene) Miss Terry Miss Terry (love)"

Let's hope no one in Beast is using this MV to break up with Miss Terry.  Poor girl.

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