Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Norfolk Dialect: "In Love With Alma Cogan"

I thought Roger Lloyd Pack made an honourable attempt at Norfolk dialect in the recent film, set in Cromer. Keith Barron's Brummie, though possible, of course, was unexplained and not very convincing. Was RLP a bit inconsistent on his "hair" for "here"? And I didn't notice any "that"s for "it's" as in "That's freezin'" etc. I suppose a point in his favour was (was / is - extra copula optional, but now recommended as POTUS Obama uses it) that he didn't go Mummerset as many actors do when attempting Norfolk without doing any research!

Monday, 22 October 2012

John Finnemore - Awesome!

Anyone else hear  the "John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme" (BBC R4) where he did the "awesome" sketch? A female shop assistant thanks a male customer for giving her exactly the right money by saying, "Thanks, that's awesome".  He then berates her for exaggerating and tells her that her use of language is awful. She then asks if he is really saying that it fills him not only with some awe but full of the stuff. And adds that he should be more careful about abusing people who are just trying to be pleasant. Yes, OK, it rang a distant bell somewhere.

Lady Mary - Game Girl!

Ah, Downton - you are all terrific but that Lady Mary's a game girl, isn't she? She'll tackle all the new 1920s lingo. And the staff too, all being absolute bricks. "Oh, I'll give it a go!" seems to be their watchword - really spiffing! Or "awesome" in the next series, reader.

Downton Abbey Time Travel

There's a #tag of Downtown Anachronisms on Twitter. But last night we had a new bit of time travel with Matthew's "I've been on a steep learning curve". No prizes for the first one to spot a double is! "The problem is is that good servants are getting jolly scarce, Lord Snooty."

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Word Inflation (percentage count)

Once upon a time, a football coach had a brilliant thought and said, "Now, lads, we're not beaten yet. I know you've given everything, a hundred per cent, but now I'm asking for just a little bit more. I know you've got it in you. Dig deep and give me that extra ten per cent and we can win this!" Wow, great new phrase and somehow so true. But good enough (satisfactory) just isn't good enough nowadays. Soon it was 120% and then coaches and players and Chancellors of the Exchequers, allegedly, were asking for 1000%, a million, a billion per cent. Oh, where will it all end, Clydesdale?

All must have prizes / AMHP Syndrome

This is related to word inflation, I think, and to societies that are focused on surface, presentation and marketing. In education (and New Labour started it, not the Nasty Party who are in charge now) being good is just not good enough and satisfactory, well, that's disgraceful and "special measures" are called for. No, all must have prizes (except the failing teachers) and so all must be outstanding - otherwise we'll sack everyone, bring in new contracts (without benefits, pensions etc) and rebrand the school / institution - that should do it.

Ludwig II

This is probably a widespread one - maybe you'll let us know, but don't swamp us with queries today, we've got visitors - only you, reader! Do you just say "Vicar?" to mean "Would you like another cup of tea, dear?" You don't, Transatlantic followers? Well, I'm pretty sure nearly everyone does over here.


Like many couples, Clydesdale and I have a shorthand of private phrases. Sometimes it's just a spoonerism or an abbreviation. C is rather (or I might say over-) conscious of weight and figure and has even been known to tell me I should lose some lbs, whereas I'm known for being thin to the point of painfulness and yet, indeed, a "fine figure of a man" - or woman, no, I'm not revealing which Jefferson is. So (not the ubiquitous, the ever-spreading "so", but the old-fashioned one), sometimes, on the train, for example, (yes, ok, too  many brackets & commas, stylists),?, C will nudge me and just say "FFM" or "FFW". And, if one of us snores at night, all that is said (as the elbow is administered) is "Ludwig". Yes, you're ahead of me, "Roll over, Beethoven". Oh, dear, now I've revealed it to the Twittersphere. Do you say that as well? Discretion please, reader.