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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

Status of my national identity: nebulous [20070628|11:01]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I held out as long as I could.

For almost three years, I've maintained my resistance. I insisted it sounded wrong in my accent. When you've been an expat for long enough, the small irrational cultural quirks that you've retained suddenly assume a disproportionate importance. You cling to them, blindly and desperately, as if your stubbornness were a life ring and you were drowning.

This past week, I finally cracked.

I started saying "Cheers" instead of "Thank you".
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2007-06-28 10:58 (UTC)
Ay up lass!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-06-29 14:52 (UTC)
Now, you must have a fascinating repertoire of colloquialisms, having lived in so many places!
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2007-06-29 14:57 (UTC)
Why aye hinny
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2007-06-29 15:06 (UTC)
And just as an aside, I met nineveh, who hails from Stoke on Trent, at an Atpo thingie in Toronto recently. Within minutes both our accents thickened up to a degree which seemed to surprise and amuse all the others present(an assortment of Americans, Canadians and Southrons).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-06-29 14:30 (UTC)
Haha. The only time I use "laterz" these days is when I'm deliberately exaggerating my California accent to play for laughs. It usually works.
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2007-06-28 16:14 (UTC)
Sounds like the darkside suits you. You may even start saying "whilst" and "whom" correctly.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-06-29 14:23 (UTC)
I use "whom" correctly when writing, but not always in speech as sometimes it ends up sounding too stilted.
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[User Picture]From: mole6e23
2007-06-28 19:22 (UTC)
I love "cheers", although I use it more now in writing than in speech, signing most of my e-mails with Cheers. The one kiwi/Australian phrase I picked up on and still use is "no worries" instead of "no problem". I don't recall whether that's also a British phrase.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-06-29 14:24 (UTC)
I think "no worries" is British too. That's what I always say these days. I hadn't realized I no longer said "no problem" until right now though!
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2007-06-29 15:01 (UTC)
The real giveaway is 'shall'. Since most English speakers are completely insecure about when to use 'will' and when to use 'shall' we all tend to use the compound future instead, indeed the simple future has all but died out outside the UK. When one hears someone ask "Shall you take the train or the bus" one can be pretty sure one is in the British Isles.
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2007-06-29 15:02 (UTC)
"no worries" is definitely of Antipodean origin. It has become much more widespread in the last twenty years or so.
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[User Picture]From: smallfurry
2007-06-29 00:14 (UTC)
cheers sounds just fine if you're in england, but for some reason, if you try to use it in the states, you seem like a prat. (brian does it all the time!)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-06-29 14:26 (UTC)
Ha. I wonder if I'll remember to make the switch next time I go back. The last time I was in the States, it took me about six days to realize that I was excusing myself from the table by saying I was just going to "nip to the loo".

I was only there for nine days, so I'm not sure the three days that I remembered to say "going to the bathroom" count for much. :-P
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[User Picture]From: edoggy
2007-06-29 01:56 (UTC)

Wot Wot Cheerio Cup o' Tea

We've been saying "Cheers" in Puget Sound for years. Of course, it's kind of a weird culture round here. P.S. Where are you from? Becca never mentions it. If you start saying "Guvnah," "Chap," or "Mates," you may want to do a culture inventory. Otherwise, you're still Yank.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-06-29 14:28 (UTC)
I'm originally from Hawai'i, but I spent as much time in California as I did there so I think I'm probably Calai'an.

I do say "mate" sometimes. Usually when drunk though. And I've caught myself calling my work colleagues "chaps" a few times when sober.
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[User Picture]From: taische
2007-06-29 03:29 (UTC)

sitting well on the tongue

I've used cheers most of my life, mostly at closing in writing (though its efficiency is such that it occasionally slips into speech automatically). It's pretty much always felt natural, somehow. Then again, I'm also occasionally accused of being Canadian, despite having been born and raised just outside Little Havana.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-06-29 14:49 (UTC)

auralocation

I'm going to have to make a voice post one of these days so that people can tell me if my accent has mutated. I honestly can't tell any more.
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2007-06-29 17:49 (UTC)
You're making me worried. Have a hot dog, chew some bubble gum, and use "c-kedule" three times in casual conversation. That'll suck that British-ism speak right outta ya...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-07-02 14:39 (UTC)
ACK! You just made me realize that I've been saying "shed-ule" for at least the past year.
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2007-07-02 14:42 (UTC)
Oh dear God. It's worse than any of us expected. Maybe it's time to pull out the "ya know" a few times in a conversation...
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[User Picture]From: mysti77
2007-06-29 18:09 (UTC)
oh that's funny! I cannot say "Cheers", because it's even WORSE in a Caribbean accent.

I do probably use may other 'British' words though without realising it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2007-07-02 14:42 (UTC)
You probably do. The responses to this post are causing me to learn just how much my vocabulary has changed. One of the phrases that's a dead giveaway for adaptive 'British'-ness is to refer to, say, 7:30 as "half seven". Which I do consistently now.
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