NOTHING splits our proud island nation like the pronunciation of certain trigger words. Here are five words that separate Southern wankers from Northern scum:
‘Baarth, not bath’
Perhaps the most divisive of all, because those who pronounce it the first way are perfumed nancies who’ve never done a day’s work in their lives and those who pronounce it the second way have been toiling unwashed for generations. Especially difficult to maintain the second pronunciation if you’re from Manchester and move to Bath.
‘Room, not rum’
Easiest to view through the prism of TV property shows. On Homes Under the Hammer, the auctioneer enthuses about how only three ‘rooms’ in the property have chronic damp. While over on Grand Designs every Barney and Alice bangs on about the ‘energy’ each ‘rum’ in the black cube they’re building in East London for £6 million has.
‘Scone, not sconn’
So keenly contested and so all over the place. Scone like cone or scone like gone? It’s driven a wedge into our nation for far too long. Only in Britain could the ingredients of a pensioner’s cream tea be the likely cause of the next civil war, and that’s before you get into whether you put the jam or cream on first.
‘Buck, not bewk’
Book as in luck or book as in spook? It’s the key question in the literary world, apart from ‘Why didn’t we all put shagging in our novels and sell shitloads like Sally Rooney?’ It’s such a fraught issue that we should all stop reading books entirely and wait for them to come on TV.
‘Dance, not darnce’
Strictly, and Craig Revel-Horwood’s criticism of various celebrities’ ‘darncing’, has brought this to the fore. Tess Daly stands out as the sole short-A in the entire thing. To redress the balance they need a Northerner on the judging panel. Sean Bean seems the easy option.