May 9, 2018

britishisms

It's got bells on.
It's not just that the first decent geek humor I was exposed to came from the likes of Monty Python and Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse and Fawlty Towers.  It's not just that P.J.'s mother was English and her speech is delightfully peppered with phrases and wit that were bestowed.

It's that I have, I think, a propensity, and aptitude, for Britishisms.  They stick in my vocabulary more readily than other modes of speech, and I incorporate them into my conversing and writing without intending to do so, often without realizing I'm doing it. 

It's entirely possible I was born on the wrong side of the pond.

I remember the first time I used the phrase "playing Silly Buggers with us."  P.J. looked at me and said, "My mother always said that.  You are the only person I've ever heard say that besides her."  I got it from Life, The Universe, and Everything.  I liked the way it sounded.  It fit what we were bandying about at the moment.  I haven't the slightest idea why it came out of my mouth.

I can go full Southern if I need to.  It's my native tongue, but it isn't my default setting now.  Britishisms (some of which I get wrong, like "steady on") fit the things I have to say, the way I think. 

I ask people what they're on about, and they just look at me.

I tell them I'm about to take the piss by playing a practical joke on someone, and they just look at me.

I tell them to pull the other one when I don't believe what they're saying, and yes, they just look at me.

Hunh?  You need to speak English, they say.

I am.  I don't mean to, but I am.

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