"Well, I think I'm pretty good with accents," he said, and no one bothered to point out the obvious. "I know cockney and I know scouse, y'know, like the Beatles," he continued, "and you're neither of those so I ruled out England and thought ... I dunno ... maybe Australia?"
I stared back at him trying to work out how best to deal with the flaws in his not-exactly-Sherlock-Holmes-like logic. I mean it's not that he thought I actually sounded Australian ... it was just that when my bland, flat vowels weren't recognised as one of the two cartoon-English accents he knew, he just stuck a pin in his mental map of the English-speaking world. Should I explain that we have more than two whole accents in England? Should I ask him if he'd ever heard an Australian accent before? Eventually the silence was overwhelming and I had to say something ... one word fell from my mouth: "Strewth!"
Monday, November 21, 2005
Dave Gorman the mysteries of the English accent
Howled like a wolf with laughter at reading Dave Gorman's column in the Guardian on Saturday (travel section). Am sure that we are all guilty of blurring accents and dialects but this made me roar. On asking the umpteenth person who had mis-identified him as being Australian, why that was, Gorman got the following reply (and gave the most brilliant response):