The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

The world according to #1 and 2 – Speaking proper like

on August 1, 2015

So, not for the first time in my life have I been brought to task about the way I speak.
I don’t have a full on Geordie twang, 22 years away from the North (of England) has sorted that out. But I do have an unmistakable northern accent.


What truly sets apart a northerner to a southerner is the shape and length of their vowels. I think it may be fair to say that the further north (of England) you venture, the longer your vowels should sound.

So much so, that Husband often says that it takes me twice as long to say the same thing verbatim as someone else because of my elongated vowels.


I personally think I speak quite well. But then don’t we all. I have good sentence structure, an extensive vocabulary but don’t use language that you can’t decipher without the use of a thesaurus.

Living in Singapore for almost seven years, most people pick up a British accent. Some who have more exposure to the UK will recognise a regional accent. Some who really want to pin it down, like to dissect it further and analyse which part of the UK it comes from.

Regional accents immediately define us and can influence in an instant the opinion of who we are to others. Some stereotypes come across better than others shall we say. Which is why people can play up or down their vowels depending on who they’re trying to engage with.

I like my elongated vowels. And it would be unnatural to change the way they sound now. But I know over the years my regional accent has been somewhat tempered.


Language is a beautiful thing. And what is fascinating is that we could both be speaking English and talking about the same thing using colloquial terms and not even know it.

Take for example, the bread bun, bap, barm, buttie, tea cake discussion.

It’s been such a long time since I have heard and used once familiar terms that I was only reminded of them when Husband was given a Geordie-English dictionary some years back. Words like ‘hoy’, ‘canny’ and ‘bairn’. They sadly no longer come naturally in conversation and I wasn’t determined enough to keep using them until others understood what they meant.

No, I guess I conformed.


As you do when you start Gainful Employment and move away from your local roots. You start to get ‘posh’ as I was told. Or you may simply just want people to get what you’re saying first time round.


Having been exposed to a bunch of 20 year olds recently, I really hope they get ‘posh’ too. It’s not even about regional or national accents. It’s about them finishing a sentence for a start.
I’ve decided one of my pet peeves right now is people who don’t finish their sentences, trailing off with a ‘I don’t know….’ and assume you can fill in the finishing gap. If you start off saying something and then finish off with a ‘I don’t know….’, then what makes you think I will if you don’t know yourself?

The state of the world’s youth being able to communicate effectively and spell properly is often a huge worry for me. Text messages that seem to be a series of random letters takes me an age to decipher. It’s so annoying. And yet who really requires the art of the spoken word when people, couples, groups of people and families together all seem to be conversing with someone on a handheld device rather than with each other.


Chillax you’re probably thinking, after all YOLO huh?

But I think I can chillax on this matter after a mounting number of incidents where #1 and now #2 have been, how shall I say it, ‘correcting’ my language. And I don’t mean being reprimanded on the inappropriate use of the F word.


We have had a series of conversations like so:


#1: Mummy, why do you speak funny.

Me: What do you mean?

#1: You know, like this. (Proceeds to talk in a lower tone of voice). Nooooo. Hooooome. Booooone.




#1: Mummy, it’s not ‘Noooooooooo’. It’s just ‘No’, like this. Short.
And this conversation just the other day is what has triggered this post.
#1: Mummy, can you please just say ‘Home’ like this, ‘Home’ and not ‘Hoooooooome’.

Me: What’s wrong with the way I say ‘Hooooome’?

#1: I’m trying to teach you how to speak properly.

Me: I do speak properly!

#2: No you don’t Mummy. You say things like ‘Gooooooaaaat’ and ‘Booooooat’. (We’ve been reading a lot of The Smartest Giant in Town)

#1: Mummy, I just want you to be able to speak properly so that the teachers can understand you.




Sooooo, it seems I should have nothing to fear about the demise of the use of correct and proper language judging by the Infant school age youth of today.



However, what #1 and 2 don’t yet know is that a Mother’s influence is stronger and more subliminal than they think.

You should try asking them where do they go swimming and where do they go to learn things and hear what they say and how they say it.


They’re proper little Northerners at heart.


One response to “The world according to #1 and 2 – Speaking proper like

  1. dadbloguk says:

    Fascinating post this. My wife is Scottish but my kids never question her accent. Even when we point out she has a Scottish accent, they just don’t get it!


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