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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you!


Happy Star Wars Day!
And thus it is that on the Fourth of May Si-Fi Cinema nerds everywhere celebrate Star Wars. I’m sure you’ve already got the joke… May the Fourth… May the Force…
The effectiveness of this joke rests on the fact that ‘fourth’ sounds like ‘force’ with a lisp. Not all lisps are created equal - and over dinner last night I cornered Superlinguo’s friend Speech Pathologist Annie to ask about lisping. Speech Path Annie mentioned there are a good half a dozen different ways to lisp. The type of lisp that creates the force/fourth distinction is a ‘interdental lisp’ - people try and say ‘s’ but they put their tongue too far forward and say ‘th’ instead. This is one of the most common lisps, the other being the lateral lisp, where ‘s’ sounds a lot more ‘l’-like. Most childrens’ lisps will drop as they get older, but if they don’t that (amongst many other things) are what Speech Pathologists are good for!
Of course, this isn’t the only link between Star Wars and language. Many of the races in Star Wars speak languages based on real Earth languages. Huttese of Tatooine is supposedly based on the American Indian language Quechua while the Ewok language is based on Tibetan and Nepali - two languages close to my heart. 
Happy Star Wars Day!
While the rest of the world stocks up on tortilla shells for Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, the hordes of Star Wars fans are ready to pay tribute to their passion. May 4 is Star Wars Day. Sometimes, people also call it Luke Skywalker Day. 
Of all the 365 days in a year, why was May 4th chosen to be Star Wars Day? We all know the line “May the Force be with you”. Play around a little with the words and you get “May the Fourth be with you”. It is also the day when all Star Wars movies have been released in the past.
Something really special is waiting for the Star Wars nation today. Lucasfilm has promised to make an announcement that will blow our minds today. They have even created a web site – Star Wars Saga: May the 4th Be With You – where you will see the countdown clock! Because of the time difference, everyone has to wait for the announcement just a bit longer. 


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