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Tracy Jordan: He is untoward! He is not toward!


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#61

ikar

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Posted Apr 8, 2009 @ 10:54 PM

I'm having an awful time distinguishing Tracy Morgan from Tracy Jordan.

You're not the only one!

Edited by ikar, Apr 25, 2009 @ 1:35 PM.


#62

ikar

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Posted Apr 25, 2009 @ 1:39 PM

Along the lines of the post above,(Also, I fixed the link) the blurring line of Tracy Morgan vs Tracy Jordan. Another note about it.

I always assumed that Tracy's agent told him 30 Rock was a reality show.


I think it's a brilliant hypothesis.

#63

ikar

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Posted Jun 4, 2009 @ 12:14 PM

I can't be the only Tracy Morgan fan. Can I? Three in a row!

This photo, from the set of his new movie, is all win.

#64

Inquisitionist

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Posted Jun 4, 2009 @ 5:21 PM

Thanks, ikar. That was hi-larious! (Didn't want you to feel lonesome...)

#65

DirtyBurger

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Posted Oct 8, 2009 @ 6:06 PM

The character of Tracy Jordan is brilliant and anyone who doesn't think so is taking it too seriously. My favorite quote:

Kenneth: "Haven't you heard the expression 'Money is the root of all evil'?"
Tracy: "That's an expression? I thought it was just the tagline for my new movie Death Bank!"

#66

Madeline Foster

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Posted Oct 9, 2009 @ 8:43 AM

Tracy Morgan is now a part of the Twitter-verse. It's a verified account, so get ready for the Funcooker!

http://twitter.com/RealTracyMorgan

#67

lz1982

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Posted Oct 9, 2009 @ 11:14 AM

Wow, he misspelled Lorne Michaels's name as Lauren.

#68

Madeline Foster

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Posted Oct 9, 2009 @ 2:09 PM

I have a feeling that even though it's a verified account, Tracy is not the one updating it. It's probably his assistant. I really hope that Tracy knows how to spell his boss' name after all the years, because if not...

#69

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Posted Oct 11, 2009 @ 6:54 AM

Wow, he misspelled Lorne Michaels's name as Lauren.


I think that post was deleted. If it is his assistant, he really knows how to imitate Tracy because those tweets are very Tracy Jordan.

#70

readingrainbow

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Posted Oct 12, 2009 @ 11:27 AM

He is an absurd person tho so I say he gets a free pass on anything as long as it is hilarious!

#71

lz1982

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 3:51 PM

From this week's episode thread, on Tracy's grammar and speech:

Every time he uses "aks" instead of "ask" or "excape" instead of "escape" or precedes a vowel-started word with "thuh" or "uh" -- like "uh Oscar" or "thuh Oscars" instead of "an Oscar" or "thee Oscars" -- I cringe and it takes me out of enjoying the moment.


Agreeing with a couple others-- I think "thuh Oscars" is an acceptable variant. However, based on the table reads from the DVDs, Tracy appears to be barely literate.

#72

JayCor

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 10:10 PM

Thank you for moving this here. I must disagree, however, on the "acceptable variant." Being a fan of language, and a student of several as well as a professional vocal musician whose ears are attuned to pronunciation, enunciation and the like, I understand the rules of the tongue (or, at least, I try to). As such, hearing the language used incorrectly automatically gets a reaction (and this is not limited to one "group" or "type" of people -- no matter the source, "aks" or "excape" or "thuh Oscars" gets a cringe from me). Others have mentioned that it's the style of speech of a particular group and as such should be accepted (c.f. your "acceptable variant") -- unfortunately, it's still wrong, even if the mob subscribes to it.

As I said, this is not limited to one particular group -- and it's not even limited to one language. There's a huge difference between עברית בכיתה (ivrit ba'kita -- classroom Hebrew) and עברית בשוק (ivrit ba'shuk -- market Hebrew) -- what may be "technically correct" (the best kind of correct) may not be in majority use. An example is the word for telephone in Hebrew: the language academy, charged with devising new words and phrases for things not envisioned in the language's source document (there's no mention of a telephone in the Bible) came up with שח רחוק (sach rachok -- lit. "distant conversation"). However, three people choked and died on the gutturals, so now everyone uses טלפון (telefon). While it may not be "correct" it is in use.

To bring this back to the actor, every time he uses the language incorrectly, it gets a reaction out of me. I understand that not everyone has the same outlook (truly YMMV), it's just something that sticks with me (especially since I just finished re-watching the first 3 seasons on Netflix). Morgan may be a fine comedian, and Fey chose him for a reason, but this one thing just really bugs me, for better or for worse

#73

metalspork13

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Posted Dec 7, 2009 @ 11:41 PM

To bring this back to the actor, every time he uses the language incorrectly, it gets a reaction out of me.


But he's not using language incorrectly, he's just speaking a different variant of English than the one you're accustomed to hearing. African-American Vernacular English (which you may have heard of as Ebonics) is a legitimate, grammatical dialect of English, and in AAVE, "aks" is a perfectly acceptable pronunciation of "ask". Tracy is clearly a speaker of AAVE - "Honkey Grandma Be Trippin'" is an excellent example of habitual be - and all of the things you say make you cringe are just features of the dialect he speaks.

#74

JayCor

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 12:10 AM

Thank you for the terminology. The wikipedia entry on AAVE is a fascinating read, especially the recognition of linguists that AAVE has its own "internal logic and structure." I still believe it's a function of "stranger in a strange land" with respect to my reaction -- that is, hearing the difference in that dialect will still evoke some response simply by its being different (to me). It's interesting to know some of the historical and linguistic background as well.

Not to beat this dead horse, but can you elaborate on the table read/DVD extras you mentioned, lz1982?

#75

arc

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 4:48 AM

Ah, "incorrectly"? http://www.photoethn...-vs-aks-ax.html

The contemporary African American Vernacular English pronunciation of "ask" as "aks" or "ax" is often used as an example of bad pronunciation by prescriptive language critics. However, the "aks/ax" form of "ask" is just as old -- if not older, than the "ask" form -- and dates back to Old English.

[OED citations]

We can see that 'aks/ax' was a valid pronunciation from 1000 CE ("acsian") through at least 1549 CE ("He axeth"). If anyone axe, just say that no one lesser than Chaucer spelt it that way.


"technically correct" (the best kind of correct)

Plus, as a fellow Futurama fan, I would have thought you would have enjoyed Tracy using the accepted 3000-AD era pronunciation...

#76

JayCor

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 7:45 AM

Heh. I did notice the Chaucer reference in one of the wiki pages on the subject.

I believe that any and all future snark directed at my opinion should refer to the above post, which neatly summed up how further research into the topic led to a deeper understanding (if not acceptance, but more knowledge on the topic). The More You Know, indeed.

Were we in the Year 3000, I'd have no problem -- I don't regret that we're not, but I do rue and lament it. Oh well.

#77

lz1982

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 11:38 AM

I've never thought of saying "thuh" as limited to ebonics. I'm white and pronounce it that way, and so do most of the people I know. Is it a regional thing, perhaps? My family is from the NYC area, like Tracy.

Edited by lz1982, Dec 8, 2009 @ 11:39 AM.


#78

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Dec 8, 2009 @ 12:09 PM

To bring this back to the actor, every time he uses the language incorrectly, it gets a reaction out of me. I understand that not everyone has the same outlook (truly YMMV), it's just something that sticks with me (especially since I just finished re-watching the first 3 seasons on Netflix). Morgan may be a fine comedian, and Fey chose him for a reason, but this one thing just really bugs me, for better or for worse


Why exactly does it bother you? The character Tracy Jordan is a former child star with limited education who is fed a ton of drugs by his crazy doctor. I wouldn't expect someone with that background to be able to speak correctly the same way I wouldn't expect him to be able to do complex calculus. Now if Tracy Morgan were playing an English Professor it would be a different story but he is playing an actor who works on a low rated sketch comedy show.

#79

Inquisitionist

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Posted Dec 9, 2009 @ 5:06 PM

From the Dealbreakers episode thread:

I do not find Morgan to be that great an actor, but he does make me laugh with his ability to deliver utterly ridiculous things convincingly.

Amen! I think he's taking deadpan to a new level.

#80

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Posted Dec 10, 2009 @ 8:27 AM

I've never thought of saying "thuh" as limited to ebonics. I'm white and pronounce it that way, and so do most of the people I know. Is it a regional thing, perhaps? My family is from the NYC area, like Tracy.

As I stated in the episode thread (should've been here, along with my comment on Morgan's acting that Inquisitionist quotes above -- oops!), the phonetic aspects of Morgan's accent that the poster did not like are found in various American English dialects, including those in the NYC area and throughout the South (as well as AAVE, which shares many phonetic, semantic, and syntactic similarities with American Southern dialects). The English dialects to which I was exposed as a child (Louisiana varieties of American Southern English and AAVE) all shared these phonetic features, and certain dialects from the greater NYC area (specifically Brooklyn and areas of New Jersey, I'm told) are quite similar to that of the Yats, so I've no doubt that you also share these phonetic features. :) (Not having spent much time in the NYC area whilst speaking English [I tend to be in Mandarin-majority environments when there, due to work], I don't have much exposure to NYC dialects outside of what I heard on tape as a student of linguistics.)

#81

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Posted Dec 14, 2009 @ 8:23 PM

Just for the sake of my making this point, let's set aside linguistics and whether Tracey Jordan's English usage is proper anywhere. What is the relevance? He is playing a character who speaks that way. It doesn't matter if Tracey Morgan ALSO speaks that way. Since when do fictitious characters anywhere, even in books, all speak proper English? Since when do REAL people all speak proper English? What is the problem with having a character who speaks like Tracey Jordan on the show? One of the reasons the dude is fucking funny is BECAUSE of the way he speaks, and acts.

And as an aside, I recently saw some 30 Rock bloopers clips, one of which was Tracey Morgan, for a scene, lying on a sidewalk with another "derelict" (an older woman) and a booze bottle. He was telling the actress how to time her grip on the prop (the booze bottle), and then joked that he knows how it works because he's done it many nights. But I was struck at how swiftly, clearly and calmly he clarified the sequence for the actress as they prepared for the camera to roll -- he sounded nothing like I'm used to hearing either Tracey Morgan or Jordan. I figure when table reads are filmed he plays it up, and he plays it up just in general for public consumption. But the guy is no idiot savant of comedy. A lot of the stuff he and all the actors need to do on 30 Rock call for a lot of spot on timing and technical chops - handling the prop, handling the line, handling the spit take, double take, fourth wall take - it's not just him aimed towards his mark on the studio floor and letting him act wacky. He knows what he's doing and is able to do it for multiple takes. You have to be sharp.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Dec 15, 2009 @ 1:20 PM.


#82

arc

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Posted Apr 14, 2010 @ 12:37 AM

I'm rewatching Cougars (ep 2-07) and it is shocking now how thin (relatively) Tracy was back then.

#83

Scribbly

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Posted Dec 10, 2010 @ 3:59 PM

While I think Tracy Jordan is based on Tracy Morgan, Jordan is definitely a caricature. I stage managed an event that Morgan spoke at, and he was very laid back and polite the whole time (unusual for celebrity guests). The way he talks on the show (or onstage) was also a huge exaggeration of his back-stage accent. He was actually one of the nicest and least-diva-ish "stars" (of various calibers) that I have worked for. However, this was only a one-night show, so I can't speak to his overall character. Still, he didn't seem anything like the 30 Rock character.

Tracy Jordan sometimes is an idiot, but there are instances where he plays the Shakespeare-ian Wise-Fool (Verdukianism comes to mind) where he's actually the smartest guy in the room. It's one of my favorite aspects of his character.

Edited by Scribbly, Dec 10, 2010 @ 4:07 PM.


#84

ikar

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Posted Sep 10, 2011 @ 12:21 AM

Tracy having fun during NYC's Fashion Week. I like the Killing Me Softly bit more than the U2. This is what we get when they're not shooting 30Rock!

Oh, and he shows up "in the closet" in 7 Minutes in Heaven. (You can also perhaps look for "Floyd's" 7 minutes in heaven in the sidelinks as well.)