I spent ten years in New Zealand (for the same offence today you’d probably get eight and be out in four) and when I got back to England I found that when I asked for a pen, someone would give me a pin. I had caught IVS – the dreaded Irritable Vowel Syndrome.
It’s an illness that affects all Kiwis; it’s highly contagious, and the only cure is expatriation. We saw how quickly it affected Ian Botham and David Gower when they covered the recent series of Tist Metches.
You don't feel a thing - it strikes at your vowel movements: IVS sufferers transform the letter “a” into an “e”; “e” into “i”; “i” into “o”; “o” into “u”; “u” becomes “a” - or disappears completely. Thus: Wan p’lls beck th’ cendlewock bidsprid, gits ap, drissed, end cetches thu bas tu wurk. Somple, usn’t ut?
Thet’s ut for thus wik – but you can see how cetching ut us - must stop now before my Spellcheck overheats. Next week: double vowels - “oe”, “ou” etc., and how to distinguish a Kiwi from an Oz. (Th’ Kiwis are the wans thet lit as wun Tist Metches.)