Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bugger Off!

I have a new assistant at work, who I personally hired, so I have no-one to blame but myself. In general, she is very sweet and anxious to please, but she has this annoying habit that is driving me bonkers. She trys to mimic me, and it's really, really irritating, especially when she gets it wrong.

I know for certain people it's irristible not to practice your accent when talking to a foreigner, it's like some bizarre nervous tic some have - I'm sure a lot of people don't even realise they're doing it. That's not what's irritating. I'm not talking getting it wrong by doing an appalling accent that swings violently from Ringo Starr to the Queen in one sentence. Often that's more comic than annoying. I've been here for ten years now, and I can't do a passable Californian accent either. That distinctive nasal drawl thing that renders Santa Barbara into 'Sanna Barrbra' particularly when uttered by women. California is an entire State unable to pronouce its t's.

I'm talking getting the basic vocab wrong. Case in point. Bugger! As in, oh bugger it, bugger off, and bugger bugger bugger (a la Hugh Grant on getting stopped on Sunset).

My new employee says 'oh buggers' whenever she gets something wrong, which is pretty frequently considering she's just a fledging after all. She's not the only one either, I used to play tennis with an American lady who would say 'oh buggers' every time I ballsed up a shot (all the time). What are you supposed to do though? Correct someone's attempt at empathetic swearing? It's not even like anyone I know says bugger, it's very southern and posh after all. I'm hoping that with time she'll hear me swearing like a true English girl, (probably not all that much time considering I deal with Medicare on a daily basis) and she will learn to give up the buggers/boogers and start saying bollocks like a proper classy bird.

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