Tuesday, March 4

Watch the Language, Please

Nothing says living on the continent more than the way a body speaks English. I have mentioned before that the definitive influence on the English spoken here is that of the Brits. The English. The Mighty UKs. (Okay, that last I just made up, but I am hoping that if enough of us start using the term it will really catch on.)

In our own house we've become quite Englished in our speech as well. In spite of the fact that none among us spent our formative language years under influence of our cousins 'cross the channel, you can hear it in the lilt and flow of our sentences. And in our vocabulary of course.

It sneaks up on you a little. Before you are even aware you are using posh phrases like 'one off' and signing off on correspondence with Kind Regards.

Yeah, I know. Kinda freaky.

Not long ago I shocked myself just a little when I was responding to a text message from our babysitter who had sent a note telling me she was sick and wouldn't be able to pick Andrew up from school the next day.

Without thinking I opened the phone and quickly typed in the reply:

No worries. We'll sort it.

I sent it.

Then blinked.

Then snorted aloud at my absolute britspeak.

I had just written "no worries, we'll sort it". Huh? Wha? Next thing you know I will be wearing large hats at weddings and singing God Save the Queen.

Dude! Who am I and where did my American go?

If ever you find yourself on this side of the pond, perhaps you could pop round to mine and you know...



  1. *SNORT* that is too flippin funny! Thanks for the giggle!

  2. So, let me get this straight. You move from Arizona to Holland and suddenly become British. I get it...


  3. uh oh. those are all British sayings??

    I'm on the wrong side of the pond!

  4. I can't tell the difference...I'm sure I blend all kind of influences in one big mish-mash

  5. I've been across the pond and you are too cute to smack in the head.

    But you sure do talk funny darling. Then those Brits you introduced me too had potty mouths. THAT'S where I thought you were going with this one.

  6. And if you want more pay at work don't forget to ask for a "rise". that one kills me.

  7. You realize Britney Spears is having some of the same problems? ;-)

  8. Should I ring you up before I knock you up? And if I pop in and then decide to light for a bit, is there a decent bed-sit for short-term let nearby?

    Did you know I was multi-lingual? I speak fluent American, UK, Oz, Spanglish and profanity.

  9. I totally get this. Every time I go back to NYC for a visit, I get my NYC accent back. I'm pathetic.

  10. yeppers! I have a similar problem with the local "phrases" myself. It is amazing when you move from one end of the US to the other.. the difference in speak! :)

  11. I don't care how cute you are, I'll be happy to oblige with a "rough up".

    I know what you mean. Whenever I go back to Texas, my BFF always nags me about "usin' them fity-cent words".

    And BTW, told you so!! Remember waaay back when you were telling me I didn't have so much of a Texas accent when you first started talking to me!!

    And of course it hits us drama folks worst of all because we art of mimicry is part of our training. Hell I figure if it's good enough for Meryl Streep, then I can't go wrong!!

  12. Well, I guess I do this in Dutch too, but then again, I also do this in English (depending to whom I've talked before...) :D

  13. Well i never! How very rude of you!!! there is nothing wrong with becoming more british, potty mouthed indeed... i don't know what you mean.

    You yanks are rubbing off on me too ... i'm not yet sure how i feel about it!!

    you do know to be knocked up and to be knocked upside the head are two different things right..... i only ask as i know you are prone to ... ummm... fertility and i'd hate any accidents to happen!!!!!!!!

  14. Hahaha. Years of living in Ireland andd England have desensitized me to Britisms.

    Call for help when you start using words like "slag" "bollocks" or "snog". make it an emergency call if the phrases "fer f^ck sake" or "oh bugger" come out. lol

    of course, you probably don't cure like a sailor like I do, so none of those are really relevant.

  15. At least you have a good excuse - ou live among those who are influencing you. It only took a few episodes of The Wiggles for me to refer to applause as "giving yourself a clap" and saying how "that works a treat!"

    I think I am very impresssionable.

  16. And what would it take to convince you that "ou" is my hip, new, shortened version of "you?"

  17. LOL Welcome to my world. We have a friend who insists she has not picked up the phrasings of the british - or the intonation. We have this codeword and let me tell you we yell UNICYCLE at her quite often.

  18. Dang, girlfiend! You'd better get your butt over here 'cross the water and get re-Americanized but QUICK!

  19. You make me laugh or perhaps I should write LOL.

  20. You lost it once you started wearing pink fluffy slippers old bean

    Tip tip Mark

  21. Jenn,

    You don't have to cross the waters for that to happen. A fair number of Britishisms come out of my mouth as well.