I have always had a [slight] interest in accents.
I suppose it comes of having an English mother which resulted in my having a slight English twinge which in turn led to unmerciful slagging in school. I learned early on to purge my voice of any traces of Englishness and to develop a sort of hybrid Dublin/ East Coast/ whatever accent.
I was down in the village the other day.
It was a nice sunny day so I decided a mug of coffee in the sun was a good idea.
I was sitting there in the sunshine with my nice full mug on the table, the pipe going full blast and Penny curled up at my feet when I noticed the group at another table who were having rather a loud conversation.
The bloke had what I would describe as an educated East Coast accent, his female companion was American to the core so I could barely understand her and the bloke's daughter had one of those ghastly accents I can only describe as a television accent – a sort of mid-Atlantic twang and each sentence ended in an upward interrogative twist which drives me fucking mad and makes me want to smash the face of the perpetrator.
The American was obviously a visitor and the bloke was enquiring where she would like to visit the following day. He suggested either the Giant's Causeway or The Blarney Stone. As they represent opposite ends of the country he must have been one hell of a glutton for motorways. When Ghastly Accent Sprog said she didn't want either, Fawning Daddy suggested Alton Towers. Seeing as that is in another country altogether I dismissed him as being a bit of a fuitcake. Either that or he owned a private plane.
But then the subject got onto accents. He [rightly] stated that Visitor had an American accent and confessed that to him, every American sounds much the same. This is true. While I can distinguish New York Bronx from Deep South that is about the limit, whereas I can almost tell what town someone comes from In Ireland as I am tuned to the subtle nuances.
Visitor then announced at the top of her voice that Fawning Daddy had a very strong Irish accent but that she, quite definitely and categorically didn't have any accent at all.
I damn near choked on my coffee.