It’s been amazing to spend the last 4 weeks in the UK where I can talk as fast as I like and everyone understands me. No need to properly enunciate every word, put pauses in my sentences so non native speakers can keep up, or otherwise have to regulate my speech. At least, this is what I thought. But it’d been a while a while since I spent much time with any southerners. I’d forgotten that they don’t necessarily understand everything we northerners say.
Ginnel and vac are just two words that have had my southern friend staring at me with that ‘what on earth did you just say’ look on her face lately.
But, much more importantly, it seems down south they don’t quite get how we say things. For up north, where we are frugal with our adjectives, it’s all in the inflection and not the choice of words.
Southern sentence – northern sentence.
That was the most magnificent meal I’ve ever eaten – It was all right.
I really enjoyed that meal – It was all right.
The food was good – It was all right.
That was quite a mediocre meal – It was all right.
I’ve had better – It was all right.
That was awful, by far the worst meal I’ve ever eaten – That was rubbish.
Funny how the English language separates us even county to county, isn’t it? Or perhaps I just need to get over my natural northern aversion to adjectives…
What weird English language barriers have you come up against between native English speakers?