Monday, January 19, 2009

More Things I Like, Things I Don't Like

Things I like: Trains.

These past two weekends, I've ridden my bicycle to Cambridge and ridden a train back, and taken a train to Stevenage for a running race and come back. In both cases, my wait for a train was minimal and travel time was tolerable. Train service is frequent and more often reliable than unreliable. You can get to more than 2,500 destinations by train. Now if you ask a Briton, it's gone downhill since Margaret Thatcher reorganized it. And having been on Swiss trains recently, I can say that they appear to make more allowances for bicycles than British trains do. But still, the rail service makes car ownership optional for a larger share of the population than the United States.

Things I don't like: Northern accents.

I shouldn't make fun of the way people talk, but there is something in the northern English accent that rubs me wrong. I love a broad Scottish brogue and a Welsh lilt, but strong Yorkshire and Liverpudlian accents are at times almost incomprehensible to me. The TV serial Hollyoaks best exemplifies the accents I hate. See if you don't want to punch your computer screen when you click through to this Hollyoaks clip for which embedding has been disabled.

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Anonymous Badger said...

I did want to punch the screen, but that's because it's a soap!

It comes with time and practice. Full Scouser without any preparation ... he/she might as well be speaking Swahili.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous pseudonymous in nc said...

There is no "the northern English accent", of course.

Now, Hollyoaksian (a kind of Estuary Mancunian/Cheshire, rather than Scouse) isn't that musical, but the annoyance is mainly because the characters in Hollyoaks are very very annoying.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Chris Rae said...

I'm normally against the shameless advertising of blogs on other blogs, but your "things I like / things I don't like" is extremely reminiscent of my "things America does right / things America does wrong" blog at Except for the fact that I'm a Brit living in America, and therefore probably have the precisely antipodean view...

7:30 AM  
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