I didn’t see the punchline coming when John told what happened during choir rehearsal. For your information, John was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, so he is New York through and through. The choir is made up of Southerners and Mid-Westerners. When John came home, he told the story over a cup of coffee.
A choir member, knowing singers should be precise, asked about the pronunciation of “the”. Should it be “the” or “thee” in this instance? Grammar-minded people discussed the context and began to explain the reasoning.
John simply said, “In Brooklyn, it would be DA.”
I nearly snorted my coffee through my nose. John was our executive choir director for 25 years, and he would have sung the “the” correctly without thinking twice about it. His comment certainly caught me off-guard.