Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Fair Lady


Even in Texas, when you call a government office you have to press "1" to continue in English. Not only that, it's been years since I spoke with a recruiter who was not from Bombay or New Delhi. I am NOT a bigot. I am NOT an English Teacher. But it would be nice to talk with someone for once who spoke good (USA-type preferred) English, whether in person or over the telephone.

In very first part of the movie, "My Fair Lady", taken from Pygmalian, Professor Higgins laments the fact that the English don't teach their children how to speak - meaning how to speak proper English. And he is totally correct. During my first gig in London at Lloyds TSB Bank, there were at least 15 different accents on the 2nd floor alone. Throw out the obvious Irish, Scotch and Welsh brogues of various colors and renditions, and you still have three different accents from South Africa and another one from New Zeland, another from Australia and then you have the various accents (10 or 12) from in and around London itself. There's a Midland's accent, a Birmingham accent, and... Well, the list just goes on and on and on and... On the other hand, after a year, I could tell a person's heritage and background just by his or her speech pattern.

Meanwhile, in the colonies, the good old USA, the New Orleans accent sounds remarkably like the Bronx accent, there is a group in SW VA that sound like they are from South Georgia, the Cajun accent made Justin Wilson a multi-millionaire which he then gave to five or six different wives. WHY can't we get ONE common language for the English-speaking peoples of the world. English is the national language of Canada, all of the UK including Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the USA, Australia, New Zeland, India (north and south) and, to some degree, Pakistan. If we could get everyone else to go along with this, I might even try to drop my Texas Twan... if everyone else would go along. :-)