Wednesday, September 22, 2010

English may not be English

My oldest sister and I were going through customs in Heathrow Airport in London, England, years ago.

The customs agent had a heavy regional accent, spoken rapidly.
Every time he talked or asked a question, we would look at each other quizzically.
If neither of us could interpret what he said, we looked at him and asked him to repeat it slower.

He, on the other hand, was having difficulty in understanding our Southern drawl, speaking slowly and pronouncing each syllable.
The agent often asked us to repeat it again, faster.

At one point, I suggested that we write it down and pass it on to the other person.

His comment was “We all speak English, but we don’t speak English. I guess we really are from different parts of the world.”

So true.


Here's hoping you are understood today. Tell your "other" you aren't cooking or doing dishes and he/she must take care of things. However, if this doesn't work, I really don't want to hear about it. But I'd love to hear how being misunderstood can get you into trouble at aitken.helen@gmail.com. Maybe I'll write about you in my blog. Have a great day.

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