Sunday, 29 June 2014

Language. 'Tis a funny old thing, in't it?

This week I must start with an apology to all native Yorkshire speakers.  This is not a reflection on anything other than one particular incident and positively no kind of comment on dialect in general, all right?  I mean, I can drop into Devonshire parlance (and have been known to), and can explain the particular inflection on the sentence 'where'm she going to?' like nobody's business.

But still.  The Tin-Tin incident requires explanation.

My son was at school talking to a friend.  Yes, he has friends, thank you very much you at the back.  Now, despite having lived in Yorkshire since he was six week's old, my son lacks a certain...shall we say, fluency in the Yorkshire dialect.  So, he was asked where his rubber was, for a friend to borrow, told her it was in his pencil tin, to be confronted by the phrase ''t' in't in tin.'  This puzzled him and he had to ask for a translation from another friend, who explained that his friend had indicated to him that the said rubber wasn't in the tin (this is where it all gets a bit like my favourite scene in Hot Fuzz, the triple-translation, where Nick Angel has to talk to a local farmer, so has to take along the dog handler (who is mildly broad West Country) to interpret the (very broad West Country) accent, which then has to be translated by his mate.  Makes me laugh every time.  Anyone who needs to get me to giggle on cue merely has to say 'yeah, oi s'pose' and I will chuckle like a loon for half an hour.

 I shall wait while you go and look at the clip.  If it does not make you laugh then I despair of you, quite frankly, and you need read no further...

Have they gone?  Good.


To continue.  When my son explained the Yorkshire Paradox to me, we postulated a story.  Follow me...

A family, who are mad, avid collectors of all memorabilia related to Herge's fine young detective, have a metal-cast model of said detective, which is kept in a metal box.  The family, being so mad about this character, also have a dog named after him.  One day, the metal model disappears!  The dog is suspected of having ingested the model, but that turns out not to be the case.  One puzzled member of the family puts the matter thusly:

Tin Tin-Tin, 't in't in Tin-Tin; 't in't in tin Tin-Tin tin!

Well, it amused us.  But we don't get out much.
This is for those who bemoaned last week's lack of kittens. 

7 comments:

Carol Hedges said...

My BH comes from Hull (pron Ul) but lost 't'accent at choir school. HOWEVER as we progress north in search of away games that we will lose because we are a rubbish team, it returns... vowels become flattened, up becomes oop. It's a strange and unearthly transition.

Thank you for the kittens. I feel slightly better.

Jane Lovering said...

They were there entirely for you, Carol...

Anonymous said...

In college I had a Dutch friend. Well actually more than one. Anyway my friend comes from Hull and was going back for the weekend. The Dutch friend looks out of the window sees my friend and shouts out 'Are you going to HELL for the weekend?'This made my friend pause. And said 'I hope not, but anything can happen in Hull' Ah the English language is a grand thing. Loved the cats pictures. But would you put a dog up soon? A nice Cockerspaniel if you have one? You know I'm not fussy.
Lorraine H

Jane Lovering said...

Next week, Lorraine, dogs. Just for you.

Sharon Booth said...

I'm from 'ull and I di'n't understand a werd you were on abart. Ad to make a fern curl and ask me mate from oop north to translate. Right ard t' figure art. Ta for't kittens. Rart bonny.

Jane Lovering said...

Hull, I understand, has a very different approach to..err...vowels and things. Although, I hasten to add, I have many friends from Hull. I think they're friends anyway. They smile a lot. Can't understand a word they say, though...

Chris Stovell said...

I think I need to work on my Yorkshire dialect, but in the meantime I'll gaze at the cute kittens!