“Merry” Sue Coleman?

This one doesn’t have to do with semantics, but it seems like a Language Log post-to-be, and so I thought I’d beat them to the punch.

The beloved president of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman, is retiring soon, and she was recognized for her twelve years of service at last Saturday’s home football game against Nebraska.  (Michigan lost, btw.)  She spoke to the crowd during this recognition ceremony at half-time, and she sounds, well, a little more “Merry” than “Mary”:

Today, the University is responding to allegations that she was inebriated with the following story:

. . . during her remarks she used a wireless microphone with which she was not experienced . . . There was significant wind that caused the sound to be delayed and distorted and created feedback during President Coleman’s speech.

Now, IANAP (I am not a phonologist), so I wonder if any of you, dear readers, know if speaking on a wireless microphone at a football stadium can cause you to sound drunk.

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5 thoughts on ““Merry” Sue Coleman?

  1. IANAP either, but I’ve heard drunks talk, and the looong draaawwn-ooouuut effect of her vowels doesn’t sound very much like drunks I’ve heard. Delayed and distorted effect seems more likely therefore, provided of course that wireless microphones can do that to you.

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