Sunday, December 05, 2004

Local Language

Yesterday's entry included two observations on the local language. The one is obvious, where I refer to what the "paint guy" said. The other was my own subconscious effort. Ending a sentence with the word "really" is definitely in the Midland dialect. This is how it works. "I don't think I like the new Bullring really" means something like "I'm not altogether sure but I don't think I like the new Bullring; if you like it, well, that's fine." One word can convey a lot of meaning!

And Pete used another piece of Midland dialect when he signed off for a month: "Tara a bit" is classic Brummie (Birmingham) in that it collapses words and syllables. In the Queen's English he would have said: "Goodbye for the time being".

The Brummie dialect is variously labeled as the worst, ugliest and laziest regional accent in the UK. Yet most foreigners find it easy on the ear and researchers say that it is very likely that William Shakespeare's accent was not very different. And while we're on the subject, be sure to remember that a Black Country accent is different from a Brummie accent. A very important distinction really.