Tuesday 11 March 2014

Deaf Girl's mispronunciation

This morning I read a news article in The Guardian about common words the people pronounce wrong and it I was genuinely surprised that not one of the words on the list was on my list of things I get wrong.

Things like espresso, prescription and etcetera – all of which I say correctly.

It reminded me of the time I went to the pub quiz with Friend Who Knows Big Words and the guy holding it couldn't pronounce 'pronunciation' correctly and eventually FWKBW had to step in and correct him to prevent herself from smashing something in rage.

But there are words I can't get right.

Things like 'alt' that button on the computer keyboard. Should be alt like alternative, right? Not according to me.

When I was little I discovered that envelope was another word for wrap up and used it with glee – saying it the same way as the stationery until someone corrected me.

Then there was the Versailles and Marseilles debacle – read all about that here – which reminds me I don't know how to pronounce debacle either.

As a child I couldn't pronounce sausages, because it's quite hard to lipread. I couldn't pronounce schizophrenic either and once spent a whole weekend practising this – much to the rents' alarm.

But the thing is, when I do pronounce something wrong, I blush a furious red shade and feel rubbish. I can't help it. It's an immediate reaction.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to get braver and learn more words I can't pronounce. I'm going to ask for help in saying words I am not sure about starting with:


Phonetic answers on a postcard please and look out for the deaf blonde girl wandering around repeating debacle, ricin, tortilla over and over to herself, with few schizophrenias and Versailles thrown in, too.

Monday 3 March 2014

Deaf Girly and HSBC fraud squad

There is one voicemail I dread more than any other being left on my phone. It is the voicemail I get at seemingly regular intervals from the ever-vigilant HSBC Fraud Squad, urging me to call them back as soon as possible and making me panic that someone has spent £2000 on carpets in the Dominican Republic in the middle of hurricane season there.

Yes, this actually did happen on my card once.

So anyway, driving down the motorway today, my phone started to ring, disturbing the very loud playing of my music and, as I was driving, I ignored the call. A few minutes later, a voicemail alert popped up and, on arrival back in London I had a listen to it, playing it through my wireless speaker on full volume so I could try and catch the odd word.

And the odd word was FRAUD.


So I rang them back. I misheard every single thing the man on the other end of the phone said to me. I explained my deafness. I explained that he didn't need to shout, that he just needed to speak slowly and clearly. He did neither and then asked me slowly and clearly if I had heard what he just said.

I said, no I hadn't but if he said it again, slowly and clearly, I would do my best.

So he sped up again and rabbited on about my past transactions in the hope that I'd confirm I'd spent the following money and he could go back to doing whatever he was doing before he got the girl who understood nothing on the other end of the phone.

I heard PayPal (Ma, if you're reading this, I am absolutely NOT addicted to eBay) and then I couldn't make out anything else he said.

We hit a stalemate. Me not hearing and him not altering the way he was saying it to help me hear better. Until he eventually yelled, 'CAR HIRE. HAVE YOU BOUGHT CAR HIRE?' And hurrah, I understood him.

And you see, I have indeed bought car hire. For skiing. Later this month. And because I am a moron and forgot to check with Big Bro about Geneva car hire and whether you should get it from the French or Swiss side, I got it from the wrong side so had to cancel and rebook the car. So in the space of half an hour money was flying on and off my credit card quicker than a panic buyer at a Mulberry sample sale.

'YES!' I yelled back, joyfully. 'I did hire a car. TWICE and then I cancelled one. And then I went to Sainsbury's and bought lunch on my credit card, which only cost £3.50, which I know is a ridiculous amount to put on a credit card, but that's the other payment.'

But it turns out that's not really what HSBC Fraud Squad are bothered about and happy that I was the actual idiot who was buying multiple car hire on my credit card and it wasn't some criminal, he hung up on me.

Until next time that is...

*cuts up credit card*

DeafGirly: How I feel about being deaf at work

It's been a whole year since I posted a blog on here. Life's been happening. And I guess I am no longer 'deaf in the city and ha...