Aye, tee reet, cocker?
Oh yes, here I am back on my favourite subject, accents.
I live in an area where the teenagers try to sound like black Americans, innit man. The middle aged people sound like farmers, or as they say here, furmers, and ‘made’ rhymes with ‘bed’.
We also have some of the longest vowel sounds in the entire world.
Take the word ‘maid’, although one would expect it to given the example above, in this instance it doesn’t sound like ‘bed’ at all but takes on a completely different sound and becomes long enough to have about 6000 hideously flatted a’s in it. for example:
” E’s proper posh, e’s even go’ ‘is own maaaaaaaaaaaaaaid.” Makes me shudder to hear it.
Ah yes, h’s no longer exist, t’s are either completely elided, used as a glottal stop or changed into d’s in the style of our American cousins. You know, it took me years to work out that a pinata (little squiggly thing on top of the ‘n’) was actually a pinata and not a pinada, and only then because I saw it written down.
Oh how times change. When I was young I’d have been given a quick sideswipe from my mother if I’d have dared do any of those things. Hell, I didn’t even say ‘bloody’ in front of her till I was in my 30’s when I discovered that I could get away with swearing as long as I didn’t do it using slovenly speech.
Munki, now approaching the ripe old age of four, has been gathering an eclectic mix of accents. She’s a delight, and sometimes hysterically funny, to listen to. Somehow she’s retained Boofuls’ RP pronunciation of ‘sandcarstle’ and has added to her RP vocabulary list with words like ‘work’ and ‘perfect’ sounding to northern ears as ‘waaark’ and ‘paarfect’.
At the other end of the scale she also has TTF’s influence. He’s probably been affronted by her gentle vowel sounds and been tutoring her in some good old germanic influenced flattened and heavy vowel sounds. ‘No’ has turned into ‘gnaw’ and this week I’ve noticed that she’s picked up the very local habit of adding extraneous ‘i’ sounds to words as in – and I quote:
“Nanny, I’ve got a toe itch.”
“A toe itch? Well scratch it.” I replied.
“Gnaw, Nanny (or Nanneh – as the locals would have it) a toe itch. A toe itch to shine a light.”
“Do you mean a torch?”
“Yes, A toe itch.”
Dear God. Elocution lessons here please!
Ps: for the uninitiated, ‘Aye, tee reet, cocker?’ means: Hello, how are you?