The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

I'm Tongue-Tied

I don’t have a speech defect, as far as I am aware, but there’s one or two words I have a problem with. One of which is sausages.

It’s not that I can’t say it. I can. It’s just that at university, I think it was, at the canteen I would go to, for some reason whenever I asked for sausages the person serving would give me a blank look and ask me to repeat myself. It may have happened a hundred times, it may have happened once, I’m not that keen on sausages so it’s probably somewhere between the two. But for whatever reason, it got inside my head, a niggle of self-consciousness, so that now whenever I have occasion to say the word sausages a litte voice in the back of my mind says, ‘Oh, you’ll have trouble saying this word clearly’.

I don’t. But because I think I will I’m a little surprised and delighted when I don’t get a blank look and am not asked to repeat myself. That said, try ordering anything from Subways and you’ll get a blank look; whenever I go to Subways I fear for the future of our language as every one I go to seems to have people working there who can neither speak nor understand spoken English even though it is their first and only language. Every word they say is slurred and mumbled; every word you say you have to enunciate loudly and clearly like you’re Leslie Philips or something.

Oh, ding dong.

It’s an irony that the one word I have trouble with is a word that even dogs can pronounce. If That’s Life is to be believed. Though I suspect that the dog in question wasn’t saying sausages; it was merely suffering from a bark defect.


  1. It's one of the quirks of our Universe that only people with Rs in their names get the inability to form Rs correctly. I have only recently discovered the trick of using L instead, although that has the unwelcome side-effect of making me sound like I'm from Rhyl (the Welsh "Rh", btw, is no problem).

    I was once asked to repeat my name several times by a shop clerk, who then studiously wrote down WOB.

  2. Yeah, one of the other words I have trouble with is my surname.