Accents: Brits sorting Americans from Australians

A while back, I mentioned that I’m sometimes asked if I’m Canadian. When your accent stands out, people feel free to ask questions. Sometimes I’m fine with it, sometimes I’m tired of it, and sometimes when no one comments I wonder why they haven’t noticed. I mean, here I am talking in this improbable accent that I have and nobody’s saying a word about it. I might as well be giving an impassioned political speech wearing a rabbit costume.

Which I should probably try some day.

Sometimes, though, the comments get strange.


Irrelevant photo: A view of Gloucester, from the path to the Cheese Rolling.

Wild Thing was in a store, winding up whatever business they’d transacted, and as she got ready to leave the kid working there said, “Say it.”

“Say it?”

“Go on, say it.”

He was almost begging.

“Say what?”


So she said, “G’day?” Complete with the question mark, because how could she leave it out. It stood in for, “You do know that’s Australian, right?” as well as “You do understand that this isn’t an Australian accent, don’t you?”

“Brilliant,” he said. Which the American side of my brain still misunderstands as gee, you’re smart, even though the side that tracks British usage knows it’s just an indication that the speaker’s happy.

He was happy. Ill informed, but happy. Why interfere?


And in case you wondered why I posted two pieces at almost the same second on Tuesday, it’s because I screwed up. I’d scheduled one in case I didn’t finish the Cheese Rolling post on time. When I did finish it, I rescheduled my backup post, or I thought I did, but clearly I was wrong. Apologies. I do know most of you have other things to do in the course of a day other than read me. Although I can’t think why.