Friday, July 15, 2005

 

Just What The Hell Does 'You Can't Have A Knees-Up Without a Joanna' Mean, Anyway?

Undountedly the best parts of the Internet are those which are so astonishingly useless. My new favourite time-waster is 'The Dialectizer', which takes the address of any site you give it, and turns the contents into any of several dialects, like Redneck, Cockney or Moron. This is, for a while at least, deeply funny. Here am I in Cockney. To sample:

'Here's the idea: evry geezer 'as the bleedin' same annual carbon quota. Any fuel yer use above and beyond yor quota, the government charge yer frough the bleedin' nose for. It were obvious from the get-go that this would be tacked onto the chuffin' Identity Card. I find it pretty amazin' that the government 'aven't even managed ter get the Identity Card bill passed, yet already they're dreamin' up new uses for it. Yer can't 'ave a knees-up wivout a joanna.'

I'm so glad I don't live in London. I couldn't stand all that 'awright guv?' cheeriness. One of the few good things about Dudley is that everyone here is deeply miserable and cynical. I love 'em to bits.

Comments:
Have you tried looking at this post through Dialectizer? You get things like:

Here's the idea: evry blimeyer 'as the bleedin' bleedin' same annual carbon quota, do wot guvnor!

I assume if you Dialectized that it would get even more obscure. And so on and so on ad infinitum, squire.
 
Yeah, it gets totally unintelligable after just two or three runs through. It's rather like standing in a room between two mirrors, being able to look at your reflection disappearing into infinity, getting ever more distorted as it goes . . .
 
I did a bit of temping work for a friend's Dad in London last Christmas, and I was exposed for the first time to the Cockney ways of the capital. There wasn't much chirpiness - there rarely is in the office of a patent attorney; but I was soon baffled by all the rhyming slang nonsense. I just about get 'joanna' = 'piano' (pronounced 'pianner', obviously), but most of the time I don't have a Scooby what they're saying.
 
Thanks, Paul! You've solved what it means. It wasn't really worth the effort, was it? I don't know why it added it - it had nothing to do with what I'd written at all.

To be honest, I didn't actually realise that Londoners still speak in rhyming slang until a few weeks ago, when I met one who spoke nothing else. In the past I'd imagined it onle existed on 'Only Fools And Horses' and in Guy Ritchie films.

Still, everyday a school day.
 
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