Lost in Americanization

I give up. I have tried. But when you want to live in the States, it’s a job lot.

I made a deal with myself that when I moved to LA I wasn’t going to change my accent one bit. I wouldn’t end up with one of those annoying Australian accents that has these weird Americanized pronunciations peppered through it. Like a Mel Gibson interview circa 1985.

But it’s useless. It started with my spelling which has been all over the place of late, from Sydney to LA.

But I guess that, you know, I am a writer, I deal with language everyday. So if harbour has to be harbor now, ok. If I have to rationalize why I no longer use rationalise, that’s fine too. Because I am in the center of the film world, not the centre. And I’ll have to break it very gently to the family that I no longer have a Mum, I have a Mom.

But the hardest part of my Americanizationing is that I am officially no longer Karl.

Where I come from we pronounce it “Kahl,” with a soft r. And all my life I have been Kahl. I like being Kahl.

But here is a typical intro in LA these days:

Me:                  Hi, my name’s Kahl.

Them:              Kyle?

Me:                  No, Kahl.

Them:             Oh, Cal.

Me:                  No, it’s Kahl.

I watch the confusion spread across their face. But I won’t buckle.

Them:              OH! Got it, Cole.

Me:                   No, it’s Kahl, like Kahl Marx.

Them:              OH! Karrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl.

Me:                   Yeah, Kahl.

Them:               I didn’t know there was a Marx Brother called Karl.

So I got tired of it and I gave in. When it comes to R’s, I roll better than Bob Marley with a pack of Rizlas. Which means I am total Hollywood cliché; I moved here to the West Coast and then I changed my name.

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