The headline of The Telegraph read ‘Speak the Queen’s English if you want to sound intelligent and be trusted’. Uh huh, yup.
Yesterday, I went to the corner shop and asked the man at the till if he could throw my newspapers in the trashcan. He looked at me as though I had just walked in with my pet unicorn. So close. I should have said ‘bin’.
Speaking English or rather the England English (not necessarily the Queen’s English- will get to that later) has been an enjoyable challenge for this verbose chatterbox. Of course there are the usual words that I knew about beforehand: loo (bathroom), brollie (umbrella), lift (elevator), tea and scones er…its still tea and scones. I would say these words with delicious intent as they rolled off my tongue like some foreign language only strengthened by Rosetta Stone. However, these words were primary school. Living here in the UK meant using University words like: half five (five thirty), all right? (how are you?), queue (line) and many more too numerous to list. Alongside these new words were regional accents which made these new words impossible to understand. Having attended University up North at Durham University, I was in total shock to realise that these Northerners did not sound like what I thought an English person should sound like with clipped tones and stiff upper lips. Instead, theirs was a sing song dialect peppered with put downs but meant to be in good fun. Just plain weird if you ask me.
Moving to London I felt at ease with the regional accent there but was seriously disturbed to find that the working class people had an entirely different accent and was sometimes used in conjunction with Cockney rhyming slang. Apples and pears meant stairs. Dog and bone=phone, Trouble and strife=wife, Tom and Dick =sick. Are you kidding me? That’s the same. It was a revelation, but the London accent made me feel like eating tea and scones and the Cockney slang made me want to eat pie and mash, eels and liquor sauce.
Last thing, have you heard Prince Charles speak? I have found out that no one speaks like him. And I though EVERYONE in England would speak like him. They don’t. And if they do you are labelled ‘posh’ and should be travelling in the first class section of the train. Anyway, the accents here denote your lifestyle, geographical preference and even what type of food you eat. I think that is pretty darn cool. Well, as they say: ‘Bob’s your Uncle’ Cheers, mate. Oh, check out this link…
Speak the Queen’s English if you want to sound intelligent and be trusted – Telegraph