Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Great Vowel Shift

A couple of weeks ago I had to do a day of work in the far-east (of London). I'm from the South-West (of the country), trying to talk to the Mockneys gave rise to some fantastic misunderstandings. I said to the woman I was staying with that I had to wear a "whistle". I meant "suit" but she thought I meant "referee's whistle" and as a primary school teacher she offered to lend me one.

The meeting was in a building with a name like "Sewcraft House". Unfortunately the address had been transcribed by somebody at my company too used to talking to people with farmers' accents. They'd recognised long rounded second vowel as an 'o' and written it down as "Sewcroft".

My favourite was a waitress in a pub who really seemed to be telling me that there was a "Steak and Owl" pie – which I would have tried.

Richard "steak and ale" B

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