From: "Erminia Passannanti" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: What language?
The trouble I have with this is that it's (ostensibly) the beginnings of a
novel written by a native Italian language speaker currently living in
The problem (for me) is that it comes over more like an American in Oxford
with a slightly failed grasp of the difference between English and American
> Forget part of that:
Well, that's mostly an American locution.
> - Yes, fucking right, the same happened to me, lads.
Well, yes, the use of "fucking" in this context is pretty English, but it
does just a little jar against "lads". A.E.Houseman meets William
> I moved to this
> country, England, between seven to nine years ago. It better be the latter
Eeep!! +Totally+ the wrong register. "the latter end" is English literary.
> I have no idea as to what kind of English I was exposed to, what
> mother-tongue? If you're expecting me to actually open my lips and
> physically utter the English idiom in the received pronunciation, you are
> fucking mistaken.
> Do I really give a shit?
Americans give a shit -- Brits give (or don't) give a fuck.
> I'm telling you...I've got
> whole shitload of other questions in my mind.
Again, "shitload of ..." is an wholly American locution.
[I'm not sure if there +is+ a Brit parallel to "don't give a shit". 'I
couldn't give a flying fuck at the moon', possibly. And the difference
between shit (USA) and shite (UK), like the difference between "ass" and
"arse" [not simple variants] is pretty fundamental.)
> My only preoccupation is to
> grab my dinner... I fucking hate this I want to suffer bit of what other
> people here are going through bullshit...
Well, this jumps registers, from literary ("My only preoccupation") to
colloquial Brit ("I fucking hate"), then tucks in a thoroughly American
("bullshit") term. Whaledreck? Horseshit? 'Bullshit' is +so+ passť ...
>They tell me: you have a dead ear
> for English...
Well, now, I suppose it's legitimate to jump registers, but at least let's
know where you're jumping from, to.
> I better still fucking be in lala-dream land...
Telly Tubbies, anyone?
>my lips are so heavy,
> bitch, you boca took up six hours of prime time;
God, now we've got Mafia rappers speaking Perugian. Bocca, surely? ...
> Utter the English idiom properly? Load of feces. It's fucking
Merde!! Papa Ubu is showing.
... the problem I have with Erminia's piece is it makes no linguistic sense.
It +neither+ makes sense as a native Italian speaker mimicking Oxford
English, +nor+ a native Oxford (English) speaker. The idioms are all over
the shop, but with a base of American.
(Yes, I +know+ we're all mid-Atlantic today, but still ...)
[If I were betting on The Heteronym Formerly Known As Erminia, I'd bet on an
American in Oxford, getting their Brit slang from books.
K, that was uncalled for. I withdraw it. Unequivocally.]