Tuesday 11 February 2014

Pronunciation: the north/south divide

I can rhyme plant with aren't,
Which the northerners can't.
(Here it's plant as in ant,
Or in scant, pant or rant.)

They won't pair laugh with half,
Or with words such as scarf.
Laugh and naff for them work,
But for me they just irk.

I can rhyme farce and glass,
Ditto pass, class and grass.
Crass...lass...mass even so,
In the south would not go....
(And I'd never try sparse,
With "the law is an ass"!)

A southerner's pasta
Rhymes solely with aster.
In the north, there'd be master,
And plaster and faster...

I can rhyme put with foot,
And with soot and caput.
Although but, hut and nut,
Would all have to be cut.

In front of the hearth,
Folk would put their tin bath.
Although - you do the math! -
It's a slippery path.

It would be understood
To pair wood, hood and good.
But mud, flood and blood.
In the south would be dud!

The above is a guide
To the north/south divide.
Must take care when I choose
Which rhymes I might use.

I was brought up south of London and moved north in later life. My southern accent still persists and I need to be aware of the differences in pronunciation when attempting to compose verses.

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