Foreign languages have never been a strong point of mine, so when I decided to move overseas I thought the UK would be a pretty safe bet. Sadly I was mistaken. Even though the Brits have been speaking English for well over a millennium, every time I enter a conversation with one of them the best reply I can formulate is a blank stare.
Here are a couple of English lessons they didn’t teach you in school.
Cursive words: being an avid supporter of the current NSW State of Origin team I consider myself to be fairly robust when it comes to sending and receiving curse words. However the English have taken this to a whole new level where they carefully dissect the syllables of each word and insert the f-word in between. The effect is quite dramatic and I imagine would require significant skill to roll the words out so fluently that you are often left wondering whether or not that actually just happened. Examples: absof*inglutely, fanf*ingtastic, Lonf*ingdon…you get the if*ingdear.
Con-fusing words: the English are fairly lazy when it comes to pronouncing individual words and have a tendency to fuse two or three of them together to help save on time and effort. Take ‘alright’ for example. This originated from the hefty four word greeting, ‘are you all right’ which would normally warrant an eight worded response of ‘yes I’m fine thank you. How about yourself?’ The English have taken this exhausting 12 word conversation down to just three being, ‘alright’, ‘yeah you’. Examples: Abysinnia (I’ll be seeing you), yamean (you know what I mean), init (isn’t it). .
Pig English: growing up with three sisters around the same age resulted in some collaborative war tactics against my parents. One of our better ones was when we figured out how to speak in Pig Latin. The method was simple, when we wanted to swear we would do it in Pig Latin so the intent would be known but the evidence against us would be inadmissible.
Londoners use this same tactic right through to adulthood, but in a slightly less intelligent way.
Take this for example: I walked into the rub-a-dub and nearly fell down the apple and pairs when I took a butchers hook to that Richard the Third drinking a pigs ear. She had a great set of mystic megs, not to mention those mince pies and the sound of her tin bath. She was having a rabbit and pork with a merchant banker but I didn’t give a pony and trap and walked right over with only a skin diver in my sky rocket and bought her a tiddly wink. She is now my trouble and strife.
Translation: I walked into the pub and nearly fell down the stairs when I took a look at that bird drinking a beer. She had a great set of legs, not to mention those eyes and the sound of her laugh. She was talking to a wanker, but I didn’t give a crap and walked right over with only a fiver in my pocket and bought her a drink. She is now my wife.
Sometimes I am glad there is a 30 hour flight between England and Australia.