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.
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.