Me Talk Pretty One Day

by David Sedaris
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Who is the audience in "Me Talk Pretty One Day"?

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The audience in "Me Talk Pretty One Day" is educated Americans who have some background in struggling to master a foreign language. This group would appreciate the humor of the narrator's predicament.

We know that the target audience of the essay is Americans because Sedaris assumes an American cultural context. For example, he describes one of the Polish Annas answering a question in French in a way that sounds like one of "those Playmate of the Month data sheets."

People from other cultures—or even people reading today rather than several decades ago—might not even know what that means. The reference also suggests that Sedaris is envisioning a male audience, as women might not be as likely to pore over "data" about a nude woman.

Sedaris also presupposes that people share a stereotypical discomfort with mastering foreign languages, and he presupposes familiarity with the trope of the demanding schoolmarm who has no room for the inadequacies of her students.

A person who has not tried to learn a foreign language or sees no value in doing so is not likely to fully appreciate either the humor of the struggles or the narrator's joy at the end when he realizes he finally can understand French.

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