Category Archives: britain

There is no future in England’s dreaming…

passport

These past few months have been extremely busy, hence all the radio silence. This always seems to happen once it grows cold. I started a fantastic new job in my favourite area of central London, and I was finally able to do the one thing I swore at age 15 that I would do by age 3o: apply for British citizenship. And through years of luck, hard graft and being in the last generation of humane visa policies, I did it! Reader, in five days, I will be a dual citizen! I still don’t really believe it despite finding out before Christmas, so I’ve come across as rather blase about the whole thing. Hopefully it will finally hit me in a way that isn’t completely embarrassing next week, I don’t want to look like a complete fool when pledging allegiance to a monarchy my country (though not my ancestors) fought to rid themselves of, ahem.

So it is a new year and soon I will have a new country to fully call home, complete with a little red passport (I already have passport photos at the ready). I will even get to vote in the upcoming general election this May, my first opportunity to vote in the UK since moving here seven years ago. I will also be a EU citizen, which is almost inconceivable to me. I never thought at the beginning of this blog that this would occur, but here I am (I’ll have to change the header soon). And even though I am still trying to come to grips with pledging allegiance to an institution that I vehemently disagree with on a socio-historical and political basis, I am happy that I will finally be afforded the safety and security and permanence of citizenship. And by claiming Britishness I believe that I can better critique structures that I disagree with, as I am able to do in the US.

So here’s to a new year and new beginnings! Happy new year everyone!

London Voices

I’d like to think that after five years, I am becoming more attuned to the variety of accents found in London, and to a smaller extent, accents found across the country (though I still get things terribly, hilariously wrong). I’ve started listening to videos and clips of various accents on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s fantastic to hear the diversity in voices on such a small island.  I think a lot of Americans still think of England as having two accents: Cockney and southern posh (maybe this is changing with BBC America), but there is so much more than that. From Liverpool to Northumberland, Yorkshire to Devon, there are so many fantastic voices here, with their own rules, slang and tones. There is also a massive range of American accents, but I think that considering the size of the country, the amount of accents present aren’t nearly as extreme. I also think that with people my age, a flattening of accent is occurring, so we generally tend to sound similar regardless of where we’re from, though obviously there are still certain geographic tics. Here are some links that may be of interest:

Sound clips:

BBC Voice Recordings

British Library Survey of English Dialects