Monday, September 06, 2010

The perils of the glottal stop

On my walk home from work I pass Scotmid Funeral Directors, which got a new sign the other week. It was made of plastic-covered boards with letters sort of sunk into the surface and it was in several sections. They’d just put up the first section, which said SCOM. Three chaps were standing on the pavement looking at it and stroking their chins doubtfully.

I didn't have my camera with me and the next time I passed, it had been fixed, as above.

I imagine the signmakers were Sco'ish.

(I appreciate your kind and sensible words about our daughter and London but - no. It's 400 miles away. Not as good as 4 miles away, as she is now. Better than Australia (in distance, I mean - I'm sure Australia is a fine place). But - too far.)


  1. It's a bit of a mouthful in its full glory isn't it. Better to stick to the Co-op as it's always been in my family.
    Start setting up and practising with Skype and a video cam so you'll be proficient when daughter 2 goes, then you'll at least be able to see and hear her.

  2. Isn't it amazing how different countries view travelling? I think nothing of going back to see family in Ohio at least three to four times a year and that's 450 miles one way. Just jump in the car and go. But I guess I would think about it differently if gas cost me $10 a gallon (I think that is the rough equivalent) versus the $2.47 or about 1.60 British pounds that it costs here in North Carolina today.

  3. My husband asked me last night why New Zealanders have their strange vowel displacements, and I told him it was because of all the Scottish immigrants. He looked bemused.
    I am just back from visiting family, rather tired after the drive, and I wish we were closer to each other. The furthest daughter has not visited me for about seven years -the cost is too great - and so the effort has had to be all mine.

  4. Ah, the charming glottal stop. There is a famous anecdote of a typical Glaswegian young male giving evidence in court about a fight that had broken out over ownership of a pie. When asked by learned counsel what he had done with said pie that rendered him unable to show it to the police when they turned up, he replied "Ah e' i' aw'".

  5. Oh how I empathise with you! My son-in-law is flying to the USA for a job interview this week. I have to hope he gets it because it's a great job and he's desperately unhappy where he is now. But that would mean they are on the other side of the Atlantic instead of twenty minutes walk away. I'm being good and cheerful and encouraging - but my heart aches!

  6. Vivien10:21 pm

    There's a phrase pronounced in Cockney as "sa-i-ai'-a' "
    "something like that"!

  7. I'm reminded by the above of my brother's favourite phrase when he was a teenager (this is Isabelle's Son). It was pronounced roughly "M'n'noh".

    That would be "I don't know" to the rest of us. He's a lot more articulate these days.

  8. When I was young I wanted to be off and on my own. My offspring did the same, but they have gravitated close to us again.

  9. Then, Isabelle, we will just sympathise heartily with you. I grew up in inland Australia which meant boarding school - how my parents missed us! My youngest daughter is at an agricultural boarding school almost 5 hours away from us and, yes, I miss her terribly. Australia is a fine place but it is certainly a long way from anywhere and it's a long way from anywhere within it too!