Monday, November 09, 2009

I *am* a foreigner, you know

Yesterday, Boy and I had a row. And I can't exactly figure out why. I certainly wasn't trying to wind him up. You see, it all started with the football...

I reckon he was a bit irritated by the Man U result. I was too, as I decided to throw my support behind the MUFC, as they were playing Chelsea, a team I hate even more than Manchester United. Well, they lost (stupid wanks - I'll never desert you again Arsenal). Anyway, on our way home, we were listening to the football commentary on the radio.

A little background knowledge: my knowledge of funny British rules of phonics has grow. For example, in place names, you drop the w with names ending with wich or wick. So Berwick is pronounced Berick.

So there's a place in east England called Norwich. So, according to the rules, it's pronounced Norich - easy enough. But the football commentator was discussing another football club that came from Northwich. First it was called Northwich (thereby not following the dropping the w rule), then Norich (dropping the w but also the th).

Upon discussion with Boy, another rule that I hadn't learned is that the th in North could be dropped; it happens in the word nor'easter. Fair enough, but if the th and the w in Northwich could be dropped, then wouldn't it just be said as Norich, just like the other place, Norwich?

So I asked Boy to explain this: how do they distinguish between the two places?

"Well, the names are different." He went on to say them, but they sounded exactly the same to me. I think he felt I was winding him up on the 13th request for him to explain it again, but I honestly wasn't. Perhaps there was a difference in pronunciation, but my little foreign ears, I ain't hear nuttin'.


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