This week there has been a lot of talk of a certain deliverer of letters and parcels whose initials are PP. We have a few random episodes of the original TV series on DVD, but recently Grandad thought it would be a great idea to record some of the new ‘SDS’ episodes that are currently shown on CBeebies for us as we don’t have a TV. For anyone who isn’t well acquainted with this televisual feast, the new series sees Pat in a courier role delivering one-off parcels rather than working for Royal Mail, because (according to Wikipedia) since 2000 the programme has not been sponsored by Royal Mail, which had previously used the show as a marketing vehicle, as they felt that the character no longer fitted in with the company’s “corporate image”. Hmmmm…..
Well Andrew is slightly obsessed with his recorded DVD (thanks Grandad, not) and its catchy (read: it annoyingly sticks in your head for the rest of the day and night) theme tune. When asked which DVD he’d like to watch, this past week around 90% of the time his answer has been Postman Pat, and when asked to clarify which series, he has often replied with ‘spesul divvy service’ (special delivery service – what the SDS stands for). I wonder who the ‘divvy’ could be?! If the next story is anything to go by, I don’t think it’s Andrew!
He loves all the different vehicles that Pat now has. It’s no longer just the good old post van of ‘he picks up all the post bags in his van’ theme tune fame. There’s now a helicopter, a motorbike, a quad bike, a forklift truck and two vans (a mini one and a big one). As we were walking back from the shops the other day, a rather loud vehicle whooshed past us – it was a motortrike. Before he could see it, Andrew initially asked ‘What’s that Mummy?’, as he usually does straight away for things he hasn’t heard before. I said ‘It’s a motorbike Andrew’, only just having realised myself that it actually had three wheels and not wanting to complicate matters. To which he replied, once he’d seen it himself, ‘No Mummy it’s a quad bike, just like Postman Pat’s!’ I stood corrected (almost) 😉
(Warning: watching this video may send you mad by putting the theme tune in your head!)
To finish our Postman Pat themed funee post this week, there was a linguistically very interesting speech error that Andrew made at the weekend. We were with family, one of whom is Uncle Matt to Andrew. We were sat around a table outside a cafe playing the usual fun game of Andrew naming everyone to check that we were all there – Mummy, Daddy, Granny, Grandad…..Postman P… He stopped himself at the ‘puh’ of Pat and corrected himself to Uncle Matt. Clearly he’s got the post guy on his mind!
But I find this particularly interesting from a linguistic point of view because Postman Pat and Uncle Matt have the same stress pattern. If you say the two ‘rhythmically’, you should notice that they have the same ‘beat’ – try tapping along to it and that might make more sense. And obviously Pat rhymes with Matt. When we make an error in speech, by saying something that we didn’t mean to, this gives us an insight into how the brain and mouth are operating to give the end result, whether that was intended or not. It’s interesting to see that Andrew was planning on saying Uncle Matt, that’s what he meant, but Postman Pat slipped in instead – it’s like he had a stress pattern or template there but somewhere along the way from brain to mouth the wrong sounds were made to fill that template in.
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