LEAVE PAC-MAN ALOOOOOOOOOONE!
Man are you Canadian. That’s a pretty clear vowel substitution you’re doing there. An American wrote it, and spoke it, and I’m pretty sure it’s got the flat “ah” sound which is forward in the mouth, and not the rounder “aoh” which is voiced further back with the tongue lowered.
Sorry man. If it makes you feel better, your childhood is still intact. It’s just that a good portion of it didn’t happen in Canada.
An American wrote it, and spoke it, and I’m pretty sure it’s got the flat “ah” sound which is forward in the mouth, and not the rounder “aoh” which is voiced further back with the tongue lowered.
1.) Fozzie was invented for The Muppet Show, which was filmed in England.
2.) If you ever had any Muppet books (and I had many), they spelled it “wocka wocka wocka.”
3.) It’s not like it’s hard to check to see how it sounds.
Good God, this is lame. who cares, if the spell it right. I have lived my life getting my name mispelt. So what.
4) And Beaker goes “MeeP” or “Mee-mee-mee”.
You care, Graphus. You care so much it hurts you inside. Graehouse, it’s clear you care because you bothered to post about it. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Grayhaus.
Now you’ve got me whispering “wakka wakka wakka” v. “wocka wocka wocka” at my desk. Good job.
But I was always spelling it “wokka.”
This is Kermit the Frog with a late-breaking Muppet News report: the yellow skies over Riverdale turned out to be a Crisis omen after all.
Love or hate… life or death… Betty or Veronica.
In nearly all cases what is actually needed is “dakka.” Specifically “more dakka.”
1. filmed in England, voiced by a Brit with an American accent, which leaves us no further than when we started, really.
2. This is true. A Canadian “wocka” vs. an American “wocka” is an entirely different beast.
3. People who speak in different languages hear remarkably different things for the same sounds, for example, the way dogs are purported to bark in Swedish is “Vov!” Which is, of course, utter nonsense, but indicative of the barriers we face as we try to parse this utterance. Regardless of how it’s spelled (and I’d be willing to bet that the spelling was created after the fact, and not the other way around) it’s definitely not a given that the spelling accurately reflects to all ears the pronuciation.
However, if you insist on going by the book (ah? ah?) then I will concede that it’s spelled “wocka” and do my part, as denizen of the internet, to spell it right, for god’s sake.
I’m not sure if I could bear to read this post.
Wakka wakka wakka!
Bork bork bork.
Technically Pac-Man goes “paku paku paku,” which is a Japanese sound-effect for eating and the source of his name.
But I’d like to point out that the Muppet Show was still airing when Pac-Man was released, so there may be a good reason that English-speaking people interpreted it as “Wakka Wakka Wakka.”
Totally with you on the correct spelling of “Wocka Wocka Wocka,” though. I didn’t know that there were people who didn’t know this.
The Internet: Serious Linguistics.
Sadly, I have a book in my possession (although not for long)that has Mork’s catchphrase misspelled at “NA-NO NA-NO”!
And it was published as a tie-in to the show!
It’s actually a sort of very finno-welshian a-esque u-ey noise, like “wuagga wuagga” noise – honestly if everyone would just switch to IPA we wouldn’t have these troubles.
Okay, I’m a comic nerd and got into debates over continuity, I have stayed up too late arguing over which edition of D&D is best, and in general can get into some stupid geeky arguments. But even this seems too trivial to care about.
I don’t know about the spelling, never having had the books, but the sound is clearly ‘wokka wokka wokka’ (or ‘wocka wocka wocka’). Though as Fred Davis points out above, the ‘ck’ phoneme could be a bit harder.
Why this matters: for some weird reason a large number of people have convinced themselves that one sound is another sound. It’s as annoying as if people kept insisting that Santa Claus said “Hee hee hee.” (It’s ‘ho ho ho.’) It’s the kind of creeping madness that requires someone to say no, damn it, I’m not crazy, I don’t care if everyone else disagrees, I know what’s real, and I know what’s right.
English is not my mother tongue and from that same link you posted MGK i hear something like “Woaka woaka” that quickly becomes a plain “Waka Waka”.
And while i’m totally with you in the spirit of spelling things right on the interwebs, i can’t honestly agree with the idea that onomatopoeias (seeing as how this is very well an issue of how to spell a sound that some character makes and not an actual word) follow the same principles and/or have a preferred spelling simply because, as somebody else said, Cats may go “Meow”, “Miau”, “Iaw” or “Nya” depending on your preferred phonetics.
So while i think this is just a case of Canadian vs American english, the only evidence i can admit as viable is the spelling the official source chose to gave it… for that specific language.
Its likely that different translations change the spelling to match the language as well.
From here on though, in english i will forever refer to it as “Wocka Wocka”.
coren, your post was the highlight of my day (and I had a pretty good day). Sheer brilliance.
This seems as good a place as any:
It’s spelled “voila”. Wallah is, okay, according to the Internet it’s an oath meaning “By Allah”, so I guess maybe that could be applicable. But it’s probably not what you meant to say.
It’s spelled “yeah”. Not “ya” or “yah” The ‘e’ is crucial!
Phew. Feels good to get that off my chest.
Actually, listening to the clip that MGK provided, it sounds like “wucka wucka wucka” to me.
“But even this seems too trivial to care about.”
I actually think that’s part of the joke.
“But even this seems too trivial to care about.”
I think this was all a ploy by MGK to see which would get more responses/hits – a post about Muppet linguistics, or a post about what’s wrong with the G20 protests and how to fix them.
This being the Internet the answer should be obvious, but occasionally these things need to be tested. FOR SCIENCE!
(wocka wocka wocka)
>>I have stayed up too late arguing over which edition of D&D is best
4th. Followed, in order, by BECM/I, 3rd, 1st and 2nd.
FOR SCIENCE = one of my favorite TMBG songs ever
Also, I wholly support the postings on “wocka wocka wocka” and “voila” (which drives me CRAZY–I once saw it spelled “Wa La” and wanted to strangle the writer), but I also feel compelled to point out that I am a copyeditor and proofreader my profession and therefore a little OCD about these things…
Also, does anyone have any insight in the lyrics of Bam Thwok by The Pixies? I always thought they were saying Fozzie’s wocka wocka wocka in the chorus (which made me grin every time), but I have no proof of this.
I think I might name my next D&D character “Bam Thwok”.
@MIB Hope you don’t mind me pointing out your type-o then! 😉
Moving onto your Pixies question, there are definitely some wocka wockas in there, but the internet largely agrees that they are wakka wakkas. *shrugs* I don’t see much of a difference between those two spellings in terms of vocalization.
Actually, it’s “typo” (short for typographical error). 😉 (Do I need to get in the last word or what? I tell you, it’s a compulsion to correct. At least at work I get paid for it…)
If you’re talking about Pixies vs. The Pixies, I know what I wrote is wrong, but it’s one of those mistakes from my formative years that I just can’t overcome–everyone I knew referred to them as The Pixies…
(Oh, the point is: no, I don’t mind. Being in publishing, I’m well aware how fallible we humans are! Although actually we have a theory in my office that there are typo gnomes that go into a text and put mistakes in after you’ve proofed it four times–it’s the only rational explanation for the mistakes that end up in print.)
For the record, every issue of the “Muppet Babies” comic Marvel printed (under the Star imprint) clearly showed Baby Fozzie saying “wocka wocka wocka”–and the current Muppet comics published by Boom! Studios also use that spelling. Being official licensed works, I’d consider that ’nuff said on the matter.
Why do some posters keep trying to make this a matter of “Canadian vs. American English”? I’m an American from the northeast. My interpretation is exactly the same as MGK’s. (The U.S.: not actually possessed of just one speechway.)
Having never seen the comics, if you’d asked me, I probably would have spelled it “wokka wokka wokka”, but “wocka” makes equal sense. I see “wakka” and I want to say the first syllable like “whack”, which is completely different from the sound of “wok” (the same sound, for me, as “walk”).
But then, I also say “korter” for “quarter”, so take that as you will.
@Holly: As a former Midwesterner, I say korter too.
In the midwestern US (or, at least Detroit and Cleveland, that I know of) the vowel ‘o’ in ‘not’ and ‘stop’ is much more fronted, so “wocka” and “wakka” would be pronounced pretty much the same way (unless you pronounce the latter as “whack-a”- or should I say, “we-aka”).
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