As I understand it, diction is as important as grammar. The ability to say words correctly be it in the local accent, or the queen’s accent, is an integral part of speaking well, and thusly presenting your self correctly in a conversation. It smacks me of complete laziness when, talking to a fully grown man, that even though we are speaking English, the language of my country and birth, I can barely understand when the last syllable ends and the next one begins. It rolls into a clusterfuck of words and sounds that uttered in a sentence make no coherent string of syntax in any language.

It’s not my untrained ear at fault. Sometimes even I lapse into a Glaswegian patter, with words that some of my friends and co-workers, without context, would rightly be flummoxed with. But this is trained, you can be taught to understand me and my sayings. I say “like” a lot because, as you might be aware, I have been living in Aberdeen for the last 2 years and that’s a by product of that. Even I notice my “ba-ack” sounding voice when I say that word, complimenting an oft used joke of the Aberdonian speech.

But it’s not the Scots that I have trouble with, it’s the English. I don’t hate the English, they’re just wankers; we on the other hand have the tenacity to say that we pronounce their language better than them. The thing is that it would appear, from my experience, that we actually do – the Newcastle accent, the closest English approximation to Scottish, it one of ups and downs, and as such sounds like the speaker is constantly trying too hard to speak. But when I talk to someone from Birmingham, a Scouser or even someone from Yorkshire, I can barely grasp what they are saying.

It’s like they are talking a different language. In fact, it’s like they are using a whole new method of interaction, a new waveform, a new type of quantum theory. They could be telling me the same thing as I am telling them and we could both be at odds with each other because it just doesn’t compute. Apart from the fact that I am middle class, white, never really been that tough and partly deaf, but honestly I think that it’s my regard for speaking well (even when I don’t myself) that means that I struggle so much when others are talking to me.

We might be talking the same language, but we are not speaking the same language.