Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's still a foreign language.

Like David Tennant, I am trying to learn an Estuary accent!

In preparation for my trip to England to visit my friends Kipling, Pigeon, and Union Jack, I’ve been reading a hysterical blog I discovered via Wif’s non-Wer&Wif blog.

By “reading” I mean when I have internet access I save 2 or 3 months from 2004 or 2005 into a word document and read them when I get sick of reading about Russian architects in the dorm.

I’m excited about the differences in British and American English. From JohnnyB (who writes that blog I mentioned not two sentences ago, remember?) I’ve learned that in British English you can:

Use companies and teams as weird collective nouns:
“Are you sure Nike don’t make bowls shoes?”

“In an exciting match, Chelsea have toppled Manchester United."
You can use new and exciting words, usually starting with “k”!
knackered (tired)

Kerb (curb)
You can play new games!
cricket ( 1) very slow-paced baseball; 2) Quidditch without brooms)

Bowls (I think it’s like curling (kurling?), except without coffee pots, and on the grass?)

Snooker (sadly, I don’t think anyone gets Snickers&trade, nor do they get kissed, during play.)
I’m terribly excited, really. I hope that when I’ve mastered British English there will be at least half as many flower petals falling from the sky as there were at the end of the version of Pygmalion that Earl Grey and I saw.

3 comments:

Justin said...

How did you not already know the bit about collective nouns? Some linguist/Doctor Who fan you are...

jlk said...

Don't forget snogging (which is kissing) and of course, shagging.

Andrew said...

I am employing rhetorical strategies! I'm not going to post about "learning a new language" and then talk about all the things I already know! Oh Dean! Exclamation point!

Besides, if I talked about the things I learned from Britain from Doctor Who I'd have to try to explain how skinny old British men can change their appearance any time they're mortally wounded, and how they're always getting in to blue boxes with nubile young companions...and how said companions always seem to start speaking with weird pouty speech impediments as if their Botox went bad (Billie Piper, "Journey's End")...