This morning, as I always do, I stopped at the coffee counter on my way to my desk. Because I’m a well brought up lad, I thanked the nice lady politely as she handed over my cup of coffee. It wasn’t until I’d started to walk away that I realised what I’d said:
“Thanks very much”
Not so strange, except that I pronounced the last word as “mutch”.
Mutch? Mutch? Dear God, have I become northern?
Maybe I should explain. I was born in Northampton, grew up in Buckinghamshire and was mainly schooled in Warwickshire. All are comfortably south of the Watford Gap, the supposed dividing line between the North and South of England. My parents couldn’t get much more southern either, as my mum is from Essex and my dad is from Devon. As a result, I say “barth” not “bath”, I go “up” not “oop”, I eat my lunch (and not my “dinner”) in the middle of the day and I have my dinner (not my “tea”) after dark.
I’ve lived in Nottingham now for 9 years, and I lived in York for 2 years before that. I think I’m finally picking up the damn accent.
What d’ye mek of that, eh me dooks?
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