Sunday, March 29, 2015

Say what now?

Posted By on Sun, Mar 29, 2015 at 7:23 AM

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This week, Englishman James Corden made his debut as the new host of CBS’ "Late Late Show." But his performance as host and the content of the show seemed to garner fewer column inches than the response to his accent and colloquial language. This, from an audience who for the past 10 years had attuned their ear to a Scottish accent and vernacular generally considered more challenging, courtesy of Craig Ferguson.

So that got me to wondering. We share a language, of sorts, we British and American cousins, but do we really understand each other? So to test this, I’m going to write the remainder of this article in "English" – see how much you can interpret.

A couple of years ago I returned to Blighty with my missus and nippers for a fortnight’s holiday. We went around Chrimbo time, and enjoyed catching up with our extended family and all our mates. There’s nothing quite like a full house on Boxing Day, enjoying re-runs of Only Fools and Horses, bubble and squeak, pud with brandy sauce, a nice cuppa and a huge tin of Cadburys Roses!

It was lovely to be able to revisit some of the culinary comforts of home. I think we might have eaten our own body-weight in Rubys’, seemed to hit every chippy we passed, and of course polished off a full pub roastie on Sunday! Speaking of the boozer, how nice it was to be able to sup a real pint of warm bitter, so different from that overly carbonated, teeth-achingly-cold “lemonade” back in America. But I couldn’t believe it was almost four quid a jar. Everything seems so much more expensive now. I’m surprised anyone can still afford a fag habit!

Even though we spent the bulk of our time in Oxford, where my mum lives, we of course had to take a few days to visit the Old Smoke. The kids really enjoyed the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace —though sadly no sign of Madge — but I think they were most made up over seeing Big Ben in person. We ran them here, there and everywhere, until they were proper knackered!

It’s nice being able to walk most places, or jump on the bus or the Tube, and not have to rely upon having a motor. Aside from the exorbitant rental fees, and the difficulty of finding anywhere to park, it’s bollocks how expensive petrol prices continue to be!

We wrapped up our trip with a footie match — nothing quite like being on the terraces in December, brass monkeys, joining in a chorus of “The Referee’s A Wanker!” At half time, I introduced my family to the traditional cold steak and kidney, washed down with blisteringly hot Bovril.

We got to see a real wonder goal in the second half involving nearly all the team; with neat first-time touches, tidy square balls, a couple of reverse passes, and a beautiful switch to the back-side, where the ball got wellied in to the roof-of-the-net! We won three-nil, and celebrated with a greasy Doner dripping with chilli sauce as we idled back to the train station.


Mark Turner is formerly of Oxford, England, but has lived in America for the past 15 years, the majority of that time in Colorado. Mark enjoys playing soccer, hiking and biking when the weather's good, and when the weather's rotten writing blog entries that he hopes will amuse and entertain. Mark can be followed on Twitter @melchett.

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