Thursday 7 February 2013

owt for nowt

I've gone all Yorkshire in celebration of their local dialect . There a teacher somewhere oop North that thinks that children should leave their local dialect out of their written exam papers, fearing that they'll be marked down and fail. I have some sympathy with her anxiety in this educationally competitive world . Who wouldn't want their students to get the best marks possible in order to maximise their employment chances ? But it's sad that regional differences should make the potential difference between a pass and a fail.

I'm wondering what the hell any examiner would have made of my essays back in the sixties when I was living in Scotland and sounding like a guttural Glaswegian ? Would  "I didney ken yah wee hen" * have cut the mustard with Miss Jean Brodie ? I think not.  And I can't imagine Rabby Burns being asked to re-word his  "sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beatie"   so that the Southern softies could understand it.

Sadly my mother sent me off to elocution lessons when we moved to England to knock the Scottish out of me. I don't blame her. It was an act of kindness as I spent the first few weeks at my new school sobbing in the corner of the playground as the other kids said they couldn't understand a word I was saying.

It reminded me of the hilarious Stanley Baxter sketches "Parliamo Glasgow" - all the funnier because my parents had bought the original vinyl LPs " Parliamo Italiano" in their quest to master a foreign language at a time when Freddie Laker and Clarksons were taking to the air with the first wave of package holidays to sunny European destinations. He really was a comedy genius and way ahead of his time. Thanks to You Tube , I have just laughed my wee socks off at one of the original sketches.

As I'd once have said  "ye cannae whack'em "

The gremlins won't let me upload the You Tube video but if you got a few minutes to spare and fancy a laugh , just google Parliamo Glasgow. Time well spent

* Translation - " I don't know my dear "

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