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For language prudes only - What words drive you nuts?

 
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I used to live at Leicester, which was of course pronounced Leicester.

Where's Southwark? Do you mean Suvv'k? On a trip to London once, my daughter wanted to go to the Tate Modern gallery in the former power station. She was very confused because she thought the chap at the tube station told her to go to Suffolk. “Not Suffolk,” I said, “it's Suvv'k.”
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:I used to live at Leicester, which was of course pronounced Leicester.

When I go on a tube, there is a stop "Leicester Square", and they pronounce Lester Square. Same as stop Gloucester Road and they say - Gloster road. I know now, but for the very first time, I could bet i'd pronounce differently.

Cambell Ritchie wrote:Do you mean Suvv'k?

This is exactly what I mean

Cambell Ritchie wrote:chap at the tube station told her to go to Suffolk. “Not Suffolk,” I said, “it's Suvv'k.”

That is it, laughing out loud Going for a fresh air.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:
Personally I'm in favour of that. If you're going to immigrate into a country then you should try to fit in there. As you may know it's common in Britain for people to display condescension or hostility to people who have accents different from their own, which is another reason for learning a British accent. It's not that different from trying to speak French with a good accent if you moved to France.



Hmmm, interesting! I think I'll start a discussion on "fitting in" in Rattlesnake in a few weeks when I have some time to spare!

I do see your point though, and I don't have a problem with someone trying to speak in an "English accent" if they feel that's the proper way to speak, I however don't think people should try to speak in a certain accent because they feel their current accent is inferior.
 
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Jan de Boer wrote:

Ahmed Bin S wrote:I find it even more annoying when Europeans (which when used by a Brit means non-British Europeans) try to speak in an American accent.



It depends I guess. Remember that because of many American TV shows that are being watched some Europeans copy the American accent without even being aware of it. I am a bit of a fan of British comedy though, so I copy the British accent. I listen and watch the BBC that often, that when on the radio there is an interview with an American, I think they have a 'funny' accent.



Yes, I call them the MTV generation! I just think non-Brit Europeans should speak English in a "British accent" instead of an American accent - after all, we're your European neighbours!

Ah, British comedy, which one is your favourite?
 
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Ahmed Bin S wrote:By Indians and Pakistanis I meant those who have come here from India and Pakistan recently, and who then try to speak in an English accent, when they don't have one. Maybe it's the anti-Colonialism in me whereby I believe everyone should just be happy with who they are that annoys me when they do this...


I think it's a generational thing; and also - in the case of Indians - perhaps a remnant of the caste system. Speaking with what you call a "goodness gracious me" accent (a term I rather like ) marks you out as someone who did their schooling in Britain - an opportunity (still, I suspect) open only to the very few - so perhaps there's an element of intra-national snobbery to it as well.

Paul Clapham wrote:If you're going to immigrate into a country then you should try to fit in there. As you may know it's common in Britain for people to display condescension or hostility to people who have accents different from their own, which is another reason for learning a British accent.


Which would be fine if the Brits themselves practised what they preach.

It's not that different from trying to speak French with a good accent if you moved to France.


Case in point: I've met ex-pat Brits who have lived in France for decades, yet still speak with an "English" accent. No attempt to learn to pronounce French vowels - or indeed the French 'r' - properly, even though they can speak the language fluently.
It's almost like a perverse "anti"-snobbery; and it used to drive my dad - a Pole - not to mention the French, who are rightly proud of their language, absolutely nuts.


At least it's not like the Germans, who won't speak to you in German in Germany if they think they can speak English better than you - which is probably true in 90% of cases. I'm sure it's only because they want to help, but it's no bloody use when you're actually trying to learn the language.

The same, oddly enough, is not true of Germans outside Germany. At least in my experience.

Winston
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:Which would be fine if the Brits themselves practised what they preach....


With a couple of exceptions; including this remarkable one (fast forward to the 6:00 mark).

Who would have thought that George Sanders - the archetypal English cad in Hollywood - could speak German not only fluently, but (at least to my ear) perfectly?

Until you discover that he was born in the German-speaking part of St. Petersburg, of course...

Winston
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Where's Southwark? Do you mean Suvv'k? On a trip to London once, my daughter wanted to go to the Tate Modern gallery in the former power station. She was very confused because she thought the chap at the tube station told her to go to Suffolk. “Not Suffolk,” I said, “it's Suvv'k.”



Yes, that's correct. I have a cousin who lives in Suvvuck, that's how he says it. I have no idea why the authorities persist in spelling it "Southwark", just one of those historical spellings which drive foreigners crazy when they are trying to learn English I guess.
 
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Liutauras Vilda wrote:

Paul Clapham wrote:which is another reason for learning a British accent


That could be difficult. There are quite few.



Not only that, you have to learn the vocabulary. My daughter moved to London recently and it didn't take long before she was dissed for having an "American" accent. But I notice she's picking up the vocabulary pretty quickly, I already detected "chuffed" and "bollocks" for example.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:. . . I have no idea why the authorities persist in spelling it "Southwark", . . .

Like Southwell and Southam, I suppose? The two are pronounced differently from each other.

Southwell is in Nottinghamshire not far from Newark. Southam is in Warwickshire not far from Leamington. Two other places pronounced counter‑intuitively.
 
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