Friday, August 31, 2012

When in the UK, talk like the Bri-ish

Sometimes, when people spend time in the UK, they come back to the US with a British accent. That is not going to happen to me. I couldn't understand why anyone would let it happen to themselves. But now, I kind of get it.

Consider this: Someone says to you, "where are you headed?" and you say, "Oxford."

Do you say it with an American accent: "ox-furd"? Or do you say it with a British accent: "ox-fid"?

Reflexively, I have started answering with (what I think is) a British accent. And why not? Why answer, "Oxford, and I pronounce it funny"? Better to just answer, "Oxford."

If I'm stringing together an entire sentence, I am unequivocally American. However, for one word, I can see some value to speaking British.

In truth, my interactions with British people have been very limited. I spend most of my time sitting in my room reading and writing, or running outside by myself. Clearly, then, I won't come back with a British accent -- but I may pick up some colloquialisms. What is the alternative? "G'day, mate." "Yup, bye."

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