Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Giving lift a new meaning

'Do you want a lift?'
It was noisy and I thought I'd misheard Martin. 'What?'
'Do you want a lift?'
I was confused. Why would I want a lift? I was getting a plate to take to the kitchen; had I missed something? Was I supposed to be going somewhere?
'Do you want a lift with anything?'
'I don't know what you're talking about!'
'Do you want a lift with anything in the kitchen?'
I stared blankly at him. 'Do you mean do I want help?'
'Yeah,' he said as if it were obvious.
'I've never heard that expression before.'
'You haven't? Everyone knows it, don't they?' he asked Pilky, a visitor from oop north. Pilky nodded his agreement.
'Maybe oop north they do but we talk proper down here.'

Last week Martin introduced me to the sound recordist from Radio Wales as 'posh totty'. It took me four days to come up with my response (which you'll admit is dazzling repartee ...) - which I shared with him last night: 'If I were posh I certainly wouldn't be talking to you!'

By the way, the sound recordist was getting clips for a programme Sean did for Radio Wales  All Things Considered programme, which you can listen to here. (I'm not sure how long it will be available though.)

P.S. And when I corrected Steve Porter when he said less instead of fewer it was meant more as a muttered reminder to myself and is don't think warranted the phrase, 'Grammar Nazi'. A bit like Grammar Tourettes.

P.P.S. There's another man who keeps telling me long and apparently funny stories but i can't understand what he's saying. So I laugh when he does and occasionally raise my eyebrows and say, 'Well, well.'


jams o donnell said...

Never heard lift used in that sense before

Liz said...

Thank you, Jams! It's these Northerners for you.

Rose said...

I would have even more trouble understanding some of these phrases--I'm still trying to remember who Canute was:)

I often laugh or smile when someone says something I don't understand--especially in noisy rooms where I just didn't hear what they said. That's not always good when they've just asked a question or told you some tragic story.

Leslie: said...

I do the same thing when I can't hear someone...just smile and nod, smile and nod...I also have never heard "life" used in that context. Oh well...

Furtheron said...

Never heard the "lift" one here either...

I regularly just nod and smile at appropriate points, my hearing isn't the best and I suffer from "cocktail party effect" (look it up it does exist, not that I go to cocktail parties regularly... actually ever!) but it is where in a noise filled environment I find it very very difficult to filter out one voice from the hubbub around me. So I smile, chuckle, raise eyebrows etc. randomly. They walk away thinking I was an attentive listener and my wife leans in and says "You haven't a clue what they just said have you?"

nick said...

No, I've never heard of wanting a lift in that sense. These Northerners are a bit weird. He'll be wanting a jam butty next.

katney said...

Less when it should be fewer makes me crazy. Less is amount; fewer is number. It is proper English everywhere English is spoken.

The rest--well, I come from a different place and know posh but lift? totty? jam butty? I don't know Canute, either, but when I see it I think of Cannuck which is a Canadian (hopefully not derogatory--sorry Leslie if it is.)

Liz said...

It has great potential to go wrong, rose!

I'm glad i'm not alone in ths, leslie!

Husband suffers from that too, furtheron.

I could have coped with jam butty, nick.

Katney, totty= woman, jam butty= jam sandwich, Canute was a king who, to prove he was only human and not god-like as his subjects wanted, tried to tell the sea to stop coming in.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I was married to a Northerner once, and my son lived there for a whilw... Never heard of that before!!