Thursday, August 17, 2006

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

It was on the radio news this morning that local authority workplaces in the North East are banning the use of coloquial expressions such as 'pet' and 'hinny' as they are patronising.
I don't really mind 'pet' that much but 'hinny' is a horrible ugly word. I was actually quite surprised that anyone is using 'hinnny' these days. The only person I've heard use it recently is my sister's on/off boyfriend who is a bit of a 70s throwback and I think he just says it for effect.
I tried to search for this news story, but couldn't find it. Instead I found an interesting article on the BBC about the Geordie dialect dying out. I've not seen much evidence of this (besides hinny's fall in popularity) and 'clammin' is still very much in use in Sunderland (to be desparate for something to consume i.e. I'm clammin for a pint). I can still the difference between someone from Newcastle, Sunderland and all the places in between.
It would be just my luck though to be saddled with the reminants of a defunct accent. It isn't that strong - people still in the north don't think I have any accent at all, but then to other people in the south it seems quite strong. Someone at university years ago accused me of 'putting on a northern accent because I thought it was cool' and a few people have thought I was Irish or even Norwegian. I do still get paranoid about it though and worry it goes against me in interviews. If I had the time and money, I would consider elocution, but I think my family would be a bit offended.


Suz said...

Interesting article - must go and read it through properly.

I think it would be a shame if all colloquialisms died out - although, I'm sure there are some that are offensive, that perhaps should be used with restraint.

I personally love all my Scots words and am forever being asked by people what on earth I'm babbling on about.

northern monkey said...

Like you I'm between discernible accent according to those oop north, but to people in London, I'm as northern as they come and apparently sometimes incomprehensible...

I'm with Suz, it would be a shame if accents and colloquialisms died out and there'd be a lot less fun in our house when the other half struggles to understand my northernisms

Lucy In The Sky said...

I love accents, I think they're great. They add to people's characters somewhat. As a girl from dahn sarf I ain't got no accent, just an occassional tendency to swear too much.

Jen said...

What an interesting article.

I have a degree in linguistics, and studied dialectiology as part of it.It's a fascinating subject.

Unfortunately, the 'dying out' of regional accents/dialects (and even languages) is all too commonplace nowadays; with the country becoming culturally diverse, and with natives in particular regions being far more mobile than previous generations.This means that people are moving away, and losing their accents; additionally non locals are moving to areas, bringing with them *their* accents,thus diluting the regional accent/dialect further still.

I'd be sad to see the Geordie accent/dialect disappear, although I'm from as South as you can get (Cornwall), I love the accent.It would be such a loss, as it's part of the cultural identity of the Geordie people :(

Anyway, I've rambled on enough....

Jen x

SandDancer said...

Apparently though the cows are picking up regional accents.