Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mind your language!

Languages fall into three categories. Living languages such as English which are in daily use and constantly developing, dead languages like Latin which are in use but no longer changing, and extinct ones which are no longer spoken..


There are believed to be about 300 different languages used in London on a daily basis. But even our mother tongue is spoken in a multitude of ways by born and bred Londoners all over the city.
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Take this scenario, and then consider the different ways it might be reported by different groups of people.





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Two boys were arguing outside the pub. One was gripping the other by his shirt and holding his fist close to his face. The other boy was shouting and swearing at him. He managed to pull himself free then ran down a staircase into the underground station.
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Several people wanted to see what was going on, so they followed them. But as they got to the platform the boys were jumping aboard a train and they disappeared into the darkness of the tunnel.
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Two teenage girls said


Me and me mate was wanderin’ down the road like, an’ we like saw two lads like ‘avin’ a like barney outside the pub like. One was well fit, an ‘e was like ‘oldin’ the skinny ones shirt and ‘e was about to fump ‘im like. Right gobby ‘e was.The uvver one looked well scared like, but he pulled ‘imself free like and legged down the tube.
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We followed ‘em like, but they got on the train like and vanished.




The policemen said

PC Jones and I were proceeding in a southerly direction when we located two white males causing a disturbance outside the Golden Lion public house. Male one was holding male two in a threatening manner, and fearing an altercation we approached the lads, whereupon they absconded in an Easterly direction and descended the steps into Chalk Farm Station on the Bakerloo line.
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We pursued them but were unable to detain them for questioning as they alighted the Southbound train and escaped.

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The Eastenders said


Me mucker en me was walking darna frog-‘n-toad when we eye-balled two geezers ‘avin’ a scrap artside the rub-a-dub. When they clocked us they scarpered darn the apple-‘n-pairs to the station..
We follered ‘em but they ‘opped on the Bakerloo and scarpered.


The Priest said


I was walking with the Lord when my eyes fell upon two unfortunate souls who appeared to suffering adversity without the Golden Lion Hostelry. One was blaspheming and the other looked sorely afraid. I received a sign telling me to pass on the word to these two unfortunate sinners, but as I stretched out my arms to embrace them, they took flight and descended the stairway into the London Underground station.

I followed them but alas, my attempts to save them went unheeded as they continued their troubled journey aboard the Baker street train.



The White van men said
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Me and Gazza parked up and walked toward the boozer and there was two clowns avin a punch up outside. We pushed ‘em art the way and got ourselves a couple of pints! Can’t waste good drinkin’ time on them can we! Know what I mean?!






Charles said
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My chum Tom and I were on our way to our gentlemen’s club when we happened upon two unsavoury youths who were clearly squaring up for a spot of fist-i-cuffs. I called out ‘I say young fella-me-lad, unhand him at once’. He let go then proffered a gesture toward me which was not dis-similar to the one skilfully executed by Winston back in the war. They then invited us to f**k awf and then trotted down the stairs to the underground railway expecting us to follow. ‘Buggar that' said Tom, then he hailed a cab!



And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

13 comments:

  1. very nicely done keith... i do so enjoy writing in the "voice" with the character,, and you did a wonderful job of reminding me how many different voiced there are to write in... lovely

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  2. Thanks for the lessons. It did sound like that in London.

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  3. lol.. I could hear the voices in my head!!! I am still laughing!!

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  4. I think I know the Eastender. It's Keithy, ain't it?

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  5. blimey but you're a clever sort!

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  6. Couldn't read the eastender. You have to be an insider. Is Charles allowed to say Buggar? That used to be a very bad word here

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  7. This is so cool Keith. I enjoyed reading it.

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  8. My God, if you write like this all the time, I'll have to come here not just for sunday scribblings!

    You made me laugh! Actually, I'm reading a book on the english language and this kind of thing is very present in my mind. I had never thought about how priests' language differs from the rest of the mortals!

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  9. Hav o' thi, I couldna read, dear chum! (House Harbour dialect)

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  10. Fabulous - I could really hear each character speak in my head.

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  11. Brilliant! All heard loud and clear, different points of view too, perfect!

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  12. I like this very simple scenario with a bunch of different takes on it. Good write

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  13. If it were me, I would be describing the same scenario in an Indian English mix...because my mind works in my mother tongue, my mouth would speak in a combination of all the languauges I speak and gibberish would be the end result. For the same reason, I prefer writing to speaking...you will know exactly what I mean if you follow my name link.;)

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