Thursday, 3 July 2014

On Having One's Diction Corrected by a Bumptious and Pedantic Colleague from Newcastle

"Newcastle!!!" comes the strangled squawk of horror.
"It's said: Newcastle!!!" Not where I come from,
I say (the posh-voiced, prosperous southerners
of Royal Tunbridge Wells pronounce the word
according to their RP dialect).
"The word's pronounced Newcastle!!!" Not by me,
I say. "But that is how you're supposed to say it:
Newcastle!!!" Yes, I say, as long as you're
a northerner; were I to say Newcastle
amid my plummy, elongated vowels I'd sound
very pretentious. Furthermore, I don't
insist on you pronouncing Tunbridge Wells
as Tunbridge Wells and not Tunbridge Wells. "Well, in
an ideal world," he says, "you'd say Newcastle."
In an ideal world, I say, my accent wouldn't bother you. 

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