|Estuary English in the West Midlands: I am confuse
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
Humuhumu has begun to drop her T's, replacing them with glottal stops. Wa'er. Beau'iful. Floa'ing.
I presume she's picked this up from nursery somehow, but I haven't worked out from whom. It sounds very peculiar when coupled with her otherwise Brummie pronunciation ("I loike oice cream").
It also sets my nerves jangling. "Floa-ting, darling," I say calmly through gritted teeth, "Not floa'ing." Inside my head there is a tiny rage-filled fiery-eyed Nanila screaming, "IT'S GOT A T! IT'S GOT A FLAMING T IN IT! PRONOUNCE THE T!"
I'm trying to unpack why this gets up my nose so badly. I have mental mechanisms in place for suppressing the confused welter of emotions, including sadness, that assail me when she speaks and she doesn't sound American. I know that once she realises I sound foreign, she'll never be able to un-hear it. I take delight in the Brummie accent, even though I'm fairly certain that in this rigidly stratified, classist, and small-c conservative society*, she will either have to learn to code-switch or train herself out of it to achieve material success. It doesn't bother me - much - when Londoners drop their T's. I have a terrible suspicion that I've managed to internalise a certain amount of class prejudice, given that when she says "free" instead of "three" or "bahf" instead of "bath", I have the same reaction, though reduced in intensity. I don't quite understand why it applies to my child and not to anyone else, though.
* Gross generalisation, #NotAllBrits, etc.
This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1023316.html. The titration count is at .0 pKa.