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Christopher Fowler
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There are currently 37 dialects in the UK While we are waiting for the venerable Mr Tim Goodman to un-self-isolate so that the audio version of 'Oranges & Lemons' can make its way to its listeners, let's consider the voice for a few minutes. 'Accent!' Max Adrian, the producer in Ken Russell's 'The Boy Friend' yells from the wings at Twiggy, who instantly switches from a Gor Blimey working class…
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Christopher Fowler
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When books are written about slang and colloquial language - and my friend Max Décharné's delightful 'Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang' is one of the best - they tend to miss out a particularly odd form of speech patterns. A kind of 'extreme English' that can be heard in the films of the 1950s. 'It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide' I don't invent any of the…
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Christopher Fowler
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Today's oddity thrown up by my current research involves the native tongue. English speakers rarely notice the rules hidden inside their speech. For example, when we describe something to others, we use a pre-ordained system known as the Royal Order of adjectives. This dictates that certain words must precede others. They usually fit in the following eight categories. opinion size age shape colour…
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