Cheers to My Pants – English Wit and an American Accent

Since moving from New York to London I have heard nothing but the constant and sardonic question, “do you have an accent yet?” The simple answer is no, but then again my answer would be I never did, which my friends here would disagree with since I came here begging for ‘cawfee’. While I have yet to learn to speak the Queen’s English, as far as I can tell it takes three years and then your in accent limbo where you don’t sound American nor do you sound English, I have lost a bit of my New York guttural drops and I have slowly adopted Lotte. Lotte is the voice in my head and she sounds like a daintier version of a GPS guide. Why my inner monologue is now broadcast with a British accent I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s something to do with being around Brits all day and my voice-box being unable to keep up. Either way I’m quite fond of Lotte and will be sad to see her go. For one, I think she’s had a rather beneficial effect on my writing. Not only in articles and papers but I find my e-mails have improved. While before I never knew how to end a semi-professional letter that was already rife with thank yous, Lotte had the answer. Cheers. It’s quirky, cute, and forces the person to ask about my time abroad, allowing me to try and express in mono-syllabic locutions just how fascinating I am and that they simply must hire me. Best works just as well when super-professional is required.

I’ve also discovered new words. I knew they existed before but much like tasting truffle oil for the first time knowing something exists and feeling it on your tongue are two entirely different sensory experiences. I’m not wearing pants I’m wearing jeans. This, and the fact that my dissertation advisor literally wrote the book on the consumption of denim, has made me see the blues in an entirely new light. Because while slacks and jeans are both pants in America, in Britain pants are undies; forcing trousers and jeans into their own separate corners and liberating slacks from that boring work appropriate, funeral mandatory section of your wardrobe – you know, the one you never touch. Now, I want to buy trousers for the sake of owning trousers. (Say the word… isn’t it fun?) Crisp linens and starched cotton, I no longer envision them in khaki or black but in a frenzy of colour Rainbow Brite would enjoy.

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