As a consequence of her broad West Yorkshire dialect, my fragrant buddy Sarah has an endearing habit of pronouncing the city of Bradford’s moniker as Bratford. A minor quirk which, although captivating, makes me occasionally remind her “Similar to there’s no ‘I’ in team, there’s no ‘t’ in Bradford.”
Upon receipt of GJ Strachan’s mischievous observation, the Ossett lass ordinarily embarks upon a cursing tirade which’d make rock singer Liam Gallagher blush; not to mention me chuckle. This mirth consequential of achieved my goal when reprimanding Sazza of her flawed diction; ie incurring the Yorkshire lady’s wrath, and getting exactly the response I sought.
There’s something almost poetic in the way my female friend curses. Her mouth becomes an automatic weapon, it’s ammo swear words that are delivered with such ferocious the scene becomes almost caricaturesque…… I just have to remember not to raise the topic of her mispronunciation within church or library walls….. Well actually, anywhere in public really.
Some may deem the brio I get from witnessing Sarah take the bait, consequently manifesting such a heated reaction, as twisted. That being said, I make no apologies for this and have no plans to curtail such self-indulgent playfulness.
The above might change, though, if her responses to my tomfoolery morph from scattergun swearing into punching me in the face (and/or testicles). To be honest, you can’t blame Sarah if she did crack me one. After all, no one likes being pulled up for petty misdemeanours, such as use of incorrect diction or grammar.
Writing this brings to mind a spoof readers letter published a few years back in the adult comic magazine Viz. This parody correspondence told of a young ladies chagrin at her partner constantly correcting her grammar. Anger exacerbated when, upon dumping the uncharitable beau via letter, he responded by text admonishing her for the incorrect use of a split-infinitive in her relationship ‘termination’ letter.
I guess when you’re a writer who pens a minimum 500 word blog most days my behaviour towards Sarah, even though I’m only joshing, exposes me to pelters if/when I stray from the correct use of English pathway….. Which I’m as prone as anyone to undertake.
Footnote – For the uninitiated (potentially my non-British readers) receiving pelters means being subject to a severe reprimanding….. Or “A right round of f***s!” as someone I know in Ossett whose name rhymes with carer is prone to proffer.
Don’t get me wrong, the Brookster (as no one calls her but me) may have the need to utilise a cargo storage unit as a swear box, but my Bratford saying buddy is a lady of the highest order. Don’t let the fact she uses her knife and fork the wrong way around manifest notions she’s Eliza Doolittle before meeting Henry Higgins.
Unlike the fictional flower girl in My Fair Lady, Sarah’s no need to endlessly repeat the rhyme “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.” in a bid to improve her diction…. And, if there were a requirement, the ditty “The clavichord in Bradford is owned by my landlord.” would better serve her.
Anyhow, I can say without contradiction, apart from her penchant for cursing, Brooky predominantly displays amiable traits and, mercifully, very rarely uses split infinitives.
Despite my teasing, I realise the quirk of pronouncing Bratford instead of Bradford hurts nobody. Unless of course “Which metropolis’s been selected as the 2025 UK City of Culture?” is the local pub quiz tiebreak question; the prize a delicious selection of hams and cheeses….. In that scenario, if we lost out on the hams and cheeses following a pedantic question master ruling her response incorrect due to pronunciation, I’d be bloody furious!!