It’s a cute little phrase…perfect for confidence-building and sure to produce a smile on any little face.
But it’s sooooo American. You almost can’t say it without doing a ‘thumbs up’.
My British friends tell me I have a definite ‘twang’. But after being here nearly 7 years, it’s inevitable isn’t it?
Words like‘garbage’, ‘closet’, ‘trash’, ‘apartment’, ‘cookies’ have just slipped into my vocabulary.
When I was younger, my friends and I would snigger at acquaintances who returned after a summer in the US sounding like Sheneneh from Martin. Some of them wanted to be American so badly they’d fake the accent to anyone who would listen. That’s just embarrassing. But after a few years I can see how it can seep into your system without you even noticing.
There’s a real love affair with the British accent here. People just want to hear you talk. But as much as I knew and experienced this, I always felt a little awkward when it came to opening my mouth and asking for something.
Would I be understood? Would they think I was weird? Would I have to repeat myself a million times?
You’d think I’d be walking around flaunting my beloved accent right? Laying it on thick by talking like the Queen’s cousin. But instead I find myself saying as little as possible and disguising my accent ever so slightly, so as not to make my ‘Englishness’ obvious.
Of course, once it is, the questions follow thick and fast, ‘Do you know the Queen’, ‘Are there any black people over there’, ‘Are you French/Australian/Irish?’, ‘My Uncle’s sister-in-law’s son is from there, do you know him?’
I find myself constantly switching up my speech, depending on who I’m talking to. I’ll keep the twang if it means I can deal with a bank teller in 2 minutes rather than 10. I’ll adopt a few more American phrases if it cuts the time I take to order something at a fast food place in half.
My East London accent isn’t going anywhere fast, of that I’m sure. It just gets a little watered down for convenience.