ENGLAND, MY ENGLAND(11/02/2007)
Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès
On the Americanisation of spoken English in the UK
(CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE)
This summer, in England, I spotted the flag of Saint George hanging in post office windows, flying from car windows, printed on trainers, sellotaped to house windows, and staring off countless T-shirts. I was astonished by this visual outburst of patriotism, unrivalled since the Union Jack fad of the 1960s.
Staunchly nationalistic, this display contrasted with the equally astonishing Americanisation of the language I was hearing all around me. A nurse in a London hospital – who I'm sure couldn't have told a New York Yankee from a Boston Red Sox - told my uncomprehending Mum that her doctor wanted to 'touch base' with her. A woman in the Isle of Wight Dinosaur Park, sounding like a West Country Carmela Soprano, told her kids that if they wanted to spend some of their pocket money in the shop there then she 'would be happy with that'. Perhaps the most glaring example during my stay was when a leader of a British Muslim organisation, commenting on the alleged mid-August aeroplane bomb plot, declared: 'For me, this is the real deal', presumably stopping himself just in time from adding the word 'dude'.
There is something sad, not to mention faintly ridiculous, about all these English people walking about brandishing their national flag while mouthing phrases picked up from TV series filmed in another nation thousands of miles away. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-American (I tend, for example, to prefer US writers to English ones). But just because two countries speak the same language doesn't mean they have to speak it the same way. Or, as the English so succinctly put it, we may be in the same ballpark, but that doesn't mean we're on the same page, mate.