Thursday, April 13, 2006

You Say Valet; I Say Valet

Almost every aristocratic Regency hero has a valet, or a batman (?) if he's a military big guy. Apparently, even a man who could move fields of troops with brilliant military strategery couldn't tie his own damn neckcloth.

So, what'd'ya think about this whole valet thing?

I look at the word and enunciate it with an hard "t" at the end, the result of some long-forgotten rule in Master Bates', I kid you flippin not, French diction class. And, gives w/wo the hard "t." What's your call? Cause you know we Nerd Girls all read with the appropriate enunciation.


Encore! Thank you Emma Holly for dropping by yesterday! You R 1 Cool Chick. Cause we said so.

Encore due! Liz Carlyle writes a recurring valet role in a couple of her novels. He goes from being a small, somewhat effete character, to an important secondary character who is gay. I really like him, and Liz's novels, especially "A Woman Scorned." The hero's name is Captain Cole Amherst, which is quite about enough to do me in, Bellas. But he was trained as a theologian and, while he's no saint, he's got this innate moral struggle. And there's this love scene where he reacts verbally to what the hn is doing, and I don't know if it was all subconscious for Carlysle, but it was flippin brilliant.


Amanda said...

With the "t" of course. Just like Bertie Wooster (yummy Hugh Laurie) on the Jeeves and Wooster miniseries on PBS. One of the fun things about the British is their insistence on wierd pronunciations. I believe I read once that the name Cholmondely is pronounced Chumly. Pronouncing the "t" in valet probably has more to do with an illogical wish to avoid the French pronunciation. Sacre bleu!

Thanks for morning Colin Firth pick-me-up, Michelle. Good thing he's on my computer screen and not the real thing or I'd lose all power of pronunciation;)

And can I say how great Emma Holly was? Part of what makes you so wonderful, Michelle, is that you introduce us to other wonderful people!

Anonymous said...

What a freakin' beautiful blog, Michelle. Thank you!

Uh...what was the question?

ValeT, valay, sure, I could use one. A servant to organize my closet? Wash and iron things? See that I am perfectly dressed and made up and styled every single morning? Heck yeah, sign me up for one of those. I'll call him/her whatever he/she prefers, T or no T.

Valeen said...

I say val-lay ... c'est le Francais dans moi - (LOL, and I know that's not written right).

Either way you go at it, I could use one. Actually, what I could use the most of their abilities is the hair thing. I need someone to do my hair. I have two feet of it and I'm a wash and go kinda girl. So it usually ends up being pretty poufy, wavin' all over the place and twice its size than when its straightened.

Kristi Cook said...

I say 'val-ay' but now I'm totally distracted by one of my favorite pics of Mr. Darcy!! Sigh....I could look at that picture all day (and it's on my screen saver!).

That's one of my favorite scenes in the movie, too!

Kati said...

Well, I believe it valeT for someone who takes care of your clothing, va-lay for someone who parks your car.

I'm basing this completely on the movie Gosford Park, where they say valeT. And I could use one too, then I could start buying clothing that had something other than a polyester blend in it so I didn't have to iron! I could have Jeeves, my trusty valeT do it!

Rach said...

Yummy! Colin as Mr. Darcy. =)

Well, when I read it, I pronounce it "valay", but, I'm sure it must be "valeT" as manda pointed out, because of the way it is said in "Jeeves and Wooster". My guess is the Brits would know best. In fact, I have a British friend who says "valeT". Hmmmmm. I HATE when I have been pronouncing words wrong!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I think I've already said how I still have to stop myself from speaking my blue-collar PA words. Like "acrost," instead of across. But the Brits can say just about anything with those accents and make it sound good, Rach, no? But isn't it funny how we read words with accents, too? I have friends who swear they read Regencies with the accents in their heads. I'm more into the phrasing and stuff now, and when it's not there, I kinda think the book's a lame historical.

Good point about the T/no t for the guy parking your car, MaryKate. Welcome, btw. Have you stopped in before? Wadja think of Gosford? It had my crush of a year or so ago, Jeremy Northam. But he was doing the American thing, right?

Yeah, ok, Valeen? Don't go throwin your two feet of hair around here makin me all jealous, ok? When I read about the women in the novels with the hair below their waists, and how the guys feel about it, I'm always like, msn, i wish i had long hair. I've actually had long hair dreams like some people have flying dreams. I feel wonderful in them.

Yup, Manda. New England has a lot of Brit influence with "wooster" instead of Worcester, "peebdy" instead of Peabody. And, the famous wicked, as in "damn right, Kristina, Caroline, and Manda, Colin is wicked pissah, and a hot ticket to boot." He's the best Darcy, let's just say it out loud, OK? And A&E is the best P&P ever. Any a youz got a problem wit dat?

Amanda said...

Michelle, I've always been sort of jealous of New England for all that British influence, but I guess we've got some good stuff going on down South too. Of course southerners definitely say "vallay" with an emphasis on the "aaayyyy." But then the French settled my part of the south so it makes a crazy sort of sense. I love it when dialects stick around despite the way that the flat midwestern is taking over the country..Don't feel bad about "acrost." I thought tennis shoes were "tinny" shoes until I was about 12.

Marykate, love, love, love Gosford Park! I forgot about the valeTs in that one, hehe. Good point on the car guy. I definitely think the car guy is "valay."

As for reading with an accent, though I have tried, only if there is a very distinct dialect going on can I read in a British accent. Otherwise it's all American. Makes me sad, but I can't turn it off...

Rach said...

You know, Michelle, talking about Brits making anything sound good reminds me of the scene in "Love Actually" when Colin is in the bar in Wisconsin with the three chix and they're having him say the names of different things. Yup, anything sounds better when a brit says it =).

A&E P&P all the way!!!!

I too wish I could read with accents in my head, but I'm afraid my roots interfere. I'm with manda in my southern roots. Here in Virginny all kinds of weird things are said. We too have valaaaayyys =).

Stacy~ said...

Oh man, to have Colin Firth look at me like that...sigh.... I love that movie, and so far it's my favorite rendition - have not seen the latest w/ Keira Knightly. But I don't know, in real life would I really want a guy to get that intense? Well, okay, if he looked like Colin, definitely!

Valet, val-ley; schedule, shed-jewel, it's all the same to me. I have a bland, midwestern accent with just a hint of Canada, and no insult to anyone of the same dialect, but give me a lovely Scottish or Irish accent and I am in heaven.

Yep, I'm rambling. Don't have one interesting thing to say today.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yeah, well, Manda, the Mayflower Brits don't hang too much with the little folk. Those Brahmins must watch the bloodlines, you know. But I was crazy for NE since I was a kid and read The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I was hooked.

Well, I happen to find the Irish accent appealing, too, Stacy. I wrote on Squawk Radio a while back about those Irish boys back in Boston who were so full of the Devil. Well , they didn't have accents, but they sure were cuties. That was one of those days when I wished I could have taken back what I wrote. I can't remember why.

I'm in the midwest now, too, so I don't hear many Irish accents, but there seem to be a bunch of Brits here Rach. You betcha. I do miss the Boston accent that you hear around the place my husband grew up, Revere, MA, just north of Boston. I get such a kick out of it when I go back.

btw, one of my b est friends has a norwegian(sp)-infused MN accent with a little Canadian thing goin, too. And she says, "oh, for cute." and "Oh, for funny." She's livin in Alaska for a year and I'm kinda still bummin. She just had an agent grab her book, so she's psyched. She started writing in 20, ah say, 20 years ago. It's really good. I know it'll sell, and she's a person who'd deserve it. How bout me getting all sentimental here?

Kati said...

I adore Gosford Park, but mainly because it has someone who is high on the MK boyfriend list, Clive Owen. You guys can keep Jeremy Northam, I'll take Clive any and all days. I even loved him in CLOSER, and that was one uncomfortable film! But he was delicious in it. Also adore King Arthur. I just saw Inside Man, and he was wonderful in it. Just amazing, and I'm not a big fan of Spike Lee Joints.

Michelle - I Sqauwk regularly and have popped in once or twice to comment, but generally, I lurk. I do love your blog though. You know how to dress it up with the HOTNESS!

Stacy~ said...

MaryKate, I'm with you on Clive. I went to the theatre to see King Arther 3 times! Pathetic geek that I am, I don't even feel any shame LOL.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, yeah, Marykate. I forgot about Clive. I must say, my blog was gonna be all about Clive, then I got sidetracked with NK. Does that make me a bad girl? I have some good Clive photos in my blog files, so I'll have to post one of him soon. And I'm glad you lurk and comment, too. Glad you appreciate the "hotness," (love that!). I get to say stuff on the blog that I can't on the network. And you know, you really can't talk romance without getting a little down and dirty once in a while. It's the beauty of the genre.

Lucy? No wonder you write such good heroes. Is the Hotwire character really your husband? Cause Hotwire's got that intensity with the hn in "and Able."

I OWN King Arthur, Stacy. I thought it could have been a little better, he was beautiful and the battle scenes and costuming and grit of the thing were awesome. There's this interview on the DVD and, my God, his eyes are extraordinary. Romance novel hero eyes.

Kati said...


I long ago decided that this is the winning combination in how to make a historical "boy" movie palatable to women.

HOT man + BIG broadsword = EXCELLENT MOVIE!

Example: Viggo Mortensen + BIG broadsword = 3 excellent LOTR films

Example: Russell Crowe + BIG broadsword = Gladiator (SWOON)

Example: Clive Owen + BIG broadsword = King Arthur (SIGH)

Example: Brad Pitt + BIG broadsword = Troy (There are actually no words to describe the hotness)

I'm just saying, four examples proves my theory. I'm not saying the acting was necessarily good, but it did make for an exceptionally hot movie!
Except maybe when it's Orlando Bloom, of course, in LOTR they put a little tiara on him, so we'd know. OK, that was mean, I know that there are people out there who enjoy Orlando, but I'm not one of them. He's too little boy for me, but he's welcome to date one of my nieces.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL MK. There's just nothing like a man with a big [clai'mor, broadsword, weapon, etc.] Except maybe the man who knows well how to wield it.

I saw this flick last week, Mrs. [forget] Presents" with Dame Judy. In the preview trailers there's a new kid I thought was Mr. O [not of BD Brohood fame) but is instead another very pretty young British man. More later.

Thanks for the laughs, and I think your theory holds water, especially here.

Valeen said...

I'm a sucker for an accent as well .... Southern, Scottish, Italian, even Irish. I worked in a tourist information center one summer in college and damn near swooned every time I got to listen to a different one.

I'm Canadian and basically have no accent, just this flat loud voice. When I was little I sounded very countrified but since moving to the city its disappeared.

learn sexual health said...

The accent of Ewan McGregor is so cool, well at least the one he uses in the movie " the island", it sounds so cool.