Saturday, May 20, 2006

Confused, wasn't I?

Funny how some people, when relating a past incident, turn to their partner at the end of every sentence and say, ‘Didn’t it, George?’ or ‘Wasn’t she, George?’ or ‘Weren’t we, George?’ or other confirmatory question. If you’re the person being spoken to, you feel like saying, ‘OK, OK, I believe you. A witness won't be necessary’ Or, if you happen to be George, you might say, ‘No it didn’t’. It wouldn’t make any difference what you – or George - say, because it’s not really a question. It’s rhetorical – more aberration than corroboration. It’s a verbal shrug, like ‘like’. A teenage relative of ours can easily get four ‘likes’ into one sentence. And she doesn’t use long sentences.
In Liverpool they say ‘erm’, in France, ‘bon-ben’.
It’s something I will worry about only if it should ever become a written thing. Imagine getting an e-mail saying, ‘It’s raining - as George will confirm’. They’d have to put a macro-key on the keyboard.
My Irish Auntie Ruby had a more challenging technique: she used to put the past-participle/pronoun combination at the beginning of the sentence, as in, ‘Didn’t he have the cheek to ask for a turnip?’ What’s the correct answer? By trial and error I found the most appropriate response was to look shocked and say, ‘Jaisus!’

3 comments:

Ed R said...

Who's George? I don't know George.

riviera writer said...

And you're American - shame on you!

Ed R said...

Sorry, I don't get out much.