Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pass The Pepper Please

Can I have the pepper please?

Sorry Darling, what did you want?

The pepper. Please.

The paper?

No, the pepper. Over there…

What paper?


I'm sorry, but which paper are you talkking about? The telegraph, Scotsman or the local one?

Did you know that England and Scotland has a great many dialects? I must have grown up very ignorant never to have wondered about other countries and different accents and dialects. All of which are depending on the setting of county, city or coasts people come from.

I’m not sure what one should name language barriers and confusion when it happens between the posh England-English from English-Scots origins and those of South-African descent speaking English with an Afrikaans accent. Around a breakfast table deep in the heart of a west coast island just off the mainland of Scotland, it sometimes causes confusion, not to speak of frustration.

As it happened on this occasion, three of us had early brekki around a table with a ‘lazy Suzan’ in the middle between us, in a house called Balgowan on The Isle of Skye. A complete conversation ensued across our plates between a Scots-English lawyer and a twenty-something SA lassie…

Listening to us, the ex-town-planner who lives in Kent and a Scots-English gentleman wiped tears of laughter from his eyes as he looked at us over the rims of his glasses and newspaper he was reading.

And to our delight, he then shed light on the question of paper OR pepper.

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