Sunday, February 10, 2008

Regional Britannia

I read this very interesting article in the Guardian a couple of days ago and thought of you. The reason being is that it highlights a home truth about living here in the UK: it's very regionally based. I would say even more so than living in the US. Accents are hugely different from region to region and so, apparently, is musical taste. Even after more than 4 years of living here, there are some genres mentioned I have never heard of, such as euro disco. But that might be because I live in Scotland and apparently we only tend to favour country and western (not). I guess that's the problem about reading an English newspaper -- they positively regard their regions but ignore regions in the lump of country above them. Edinburgh is much more cosmopolitan and I hear very little country and western over here, though that might be more commonplace up north. Anyway, the link to that article is here.

Speaking of cosmopolitan, my volleyball team is quite so. There's me, the loud American, then three Scottish lassies (one from the east, one from the west and one from up north -- big differences people), two who are English, a German and a German-speaking Austrian, a Spaniard, two French people, and a Crotian-Slovokian Italian. The non-English speakers speak English so readily that I forget sometimes that it is their second language and I forget that sometimes my chat can go over their heads. But it is interesting how the chat between the English speakers varies.

I'm in the car with one of the English women and one of the Scottish women from my team. Macca, the Scottish one, talking about someone, says, "What age is she?" I wondered aloud about how odd this phraseology was or if I was losing my mind, and Turtle, the English one, confirmed that it was a very Scottish thing to say. Turtle and I would say, "How old is she?" whereas Macca would say, "What age is she?"

Turtle also pointed out that in Edinburgh we are more likely to hear 'Where do you stay?' than 'Where do you live?' I'm getting more and more into this life that I can't distinguish anymore what I would say and what they (i.e., the Scottish) would say. Also, southern American roots (of which are mine) is seeped in Scottish and Irish tradition (which explains the American country and western connection with Scotland: Scottish and Irish folk music has influenced country music and is, nowadays, being influenced it). So I don't know if I am saying something that's just Georgia country or Scottish. Like if I were trying to meet someone, I would ask, "Whereabouts are you?" Now is that Scottish or American-country?


Anonymous a.t.w. said...

Well, "Where you stay" is what you'd hear in my neighborhood. So...I guess Georgia got this from Scotland?

Sunday, 17 February 2008 at 01:25:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Whereabouts are you?" is definitely not the American I know, especially from Hawaii. We'd say "Way you stay?" Where is too proper for local folks in Hawaii; it's used by the college grads. :-D

Your Dad from Georgia would say "Where are you from?"

Similar to the guy that oogled Bumpee's Momma at the Wendy's who looked at me and her and said, "What chew (what are you)?" When I couldn't respond, he asked our racial background.

Guess things are different regionally here too.


Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 18:08:00 BST  

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