?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

It's confusing being a Midlander sometimes (for those unaware, I grew up in Birmingham).

I personally have the most terrible trouble with long and short 'a's in words like 'bath', 'glass', 'last' and so on, and can often be caught changing from one to the other in the middle of a sentence. Faced one day at a bus-stop in Reading with a car displaying the logo for a driving school called 'Fast Pass', my brain simply went into meltdown, and I had no idea how to read it: 'Faast Paass'? 'Fast Paass'? 'Faast Pass'? Or 'Fast Pass'?

In fact, I am so confused that I sometimes involve words which shouldn't be part of this in the whole muddle. Recently, I received a note at work telling me I had a parcel to collect, and when I went to ask one of the secretaries for it, I found myself asking for my 'passel'.

But I digress from the real issue at stake: scones.

While my sister was staying with me over the weekend, we discovered over the course of lunch on Monday that I pronounce the word with a long 'o' (so that it sounds like 'skoan'), while she pronounces it with a short 'o') (so that is sounds like 'skon'). This surprised me, since we both grew up in the same family and in the same area, but she explained that when she had moved to the South, everyone had laughed at her accent, so she had changed her pronunciation of some words, 'scone' included. This then surprised me even more, because I had always thought of 'skoan' as the southern pronunciation, and 'skon' as the northern.

Perhaps this is to be explained by the fact that her reference to moving 'South' actually meant she had moved to East London, where I can believe 'skon' might be more prevalent. Meanwhile, I, too, have broadly moved South (apart from the bit where I came to Belfast), yet 'skoan' seems to have fitted right in in both Bristol and Oxford. (Or if it hasn't, I haven't cared enough to notice).

In any case, I now want to check up on where each pronunciation is most common with the help of you, gentle readers. I know that both are in use: but where does each prevail? Tell me which bits of Britain you think are busy eating skoans, and which parts are happily munching on skons instead.

Poll #386998 Skoans and skons

1. In which parts of Britain do you think that the word 'scone' is typically pronounced 'skoan'?

The South East
0(0.0%)
The South West
0(0.0%)
The Midlands
1(6.2%)
North West England
0(0.0%)
North East England
0(0.0%)
All of England
1(6.2%)
Wales
1(6.2%)
Scotland
0(0.0%)
Northern Ireland
0(0.0%)
London, except for East London
0(0.0%)
London, including East London
0(0.0%)
Everywhere north of Birmingham
0(0.0%)
Everywhere south of Birmingham
1(6.2%)
Just everywhere: people who say 'skon' are freaks, and should be rounded up in the name of public safety
0(0.0%)
These options are rubbish: I'm going to comment instead
4(25.0%)

2. In which parts of Britain do you think that the word 'scone' is typically pronounced 'skon'?

The South East
0(0.0%)
The South West
0(0.0%)
The Midlands
0(0.0%)
North West England
0(0.0%)
North East England
0(0.0%)
All of England
0(0.0%)
Wales
1(6.7%)
Scotland
0(0.0%)
Northern Ireland
0(0.0%)
London, except for East London
0(0.0%)
London, including East London
0(0.0%)
Everywhere north of Birmingham
1(6.7%)
Everywhere south of Birmingham
0(0.0%)
Just everywhere: people who say 'skoan' are freaks, and should be rounded up in the name of public safety
2(13.3%)
These options are rubbish: I'm going to comment instead
2(13.3%)

Apologies, incidentally, to the good people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for not providing the option to further subdivide your (our?) regions: I'm only allowed a maximum of 15 options for this type of poll question, it transpires, so you will have to comment if you think different rules apply in different parts of your country. Comments on the typical pronunciation in English-speaking countries are, of course, also welcome.

Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
venta
Nov. 18th, 2004 06:23 am (UTC)
I wasn't particularly aware of skon/skoan being a geographical divide. It seems to be fairly random, and independent of location, character, antecedents of poshness.

I'm a 'skon' sayer, myself.
strange_complex
Nov. 18th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC)
I always though 'skoan' was the southern style, and therefore also the posher version, what with how 'received' pronunciation is usually that used in the South (East in particular). But it already seems from the answers to this poll that others do not agree...
mr_tom
Nov. 18th, 2004 06:25 am (UTC)
Skoan is wrong. Just wrong.
strange_complex
Nov. 18th, 2004 06:29 am (UTC)
Wrong like 'bone', 'throne', 'cone', 'phone', 'tone' and 'alone', eh?

And before you get clever about 'gone', 'shone' etc., those are perfect tenses of verbs, and therefore Not The Same. Ditto 'done', which follows its own path entirely.
(no subject) - mr_tom - Nov. 18th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Nov. 18th, 2004 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - venta - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - swisstone - Nov. 18th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Nov. 18th, 2004 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
stompyboots
Nov. 18th, 2004 06:28 am (UTC)
I'm going to comment because while I thought I knew before your post, your sister's thrown me completely.

My gran (born in Scotland, lived in County Durham from the end of WWII (ish) to the beginning of the sixties, and then London/commuter-ville from then until she died) always called them skoans.

My mother (London through and through, but Chelsea London, rather than Isle of Dogs London) calls them skons.

I always thought skoan was oop North and skon was dahn Saaf, but now I'm confused. I shall, however, continue to treat the word much as I do garage, which is to say that I use what I deem to be the correct pronunciation around posh people, and am bullied into using what I consider to be the *ahem* 'common' version around many of the reprobates I call friends.
strange_complex
Nov. 18th, 2004 06:33 am (UTC)
I always thought skoan was oop North and skon was dahn Saaf

Which is precisely the opposite of what I thought, and therefore lends weight to venta's opinion that this isn't really a geographical issue.

Which do you think is the posher option in this case, by the way? I would say it was 'skoan'.
(no subject) - stompyboots - Nov. 18th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - missfairchild - Nov. 18th, 2004 06:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nwhyte - Nov. 18th, 2004 06:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - missfairchild - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:00 am (UTC) - Expand
'Erbs - (Anonymous) - Nov. 22nd, 2004 01:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stompyboots - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - missfairchild - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stompyboots - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stompyboots - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - missfairchild - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strange_complex - Nov. 18th, 2004 07:12 am (UTC) - Expand
missfairchild
Nov. 18th, 2004 07:02 am (UTC)
I'm from the west coast of Scotland and pronounce scone as "skon", but there's a tendency to take the piss out of the Edinburgers and other assorted east coasters by spoofing their accents into a horrible faux posh twang. The word "skoan" is usually an integral part of such a pisstake.

It almost goes without saying that Scone is pronounced "scoon". I get a nervous tic in both arms when I hear some poor benighted person referring to the Stone of Skoan.
strange_complex
Nov. 18th, 2004 07:09 am (UTC)
Thanks for helping me not to get killed if I ever go to Scone.
jurious
Nov. 18th, 2004 08:46 am (UTC)
We used to argue about this at school... I can't say that there was a pronunciation preference in Lincoln, therefore, because it always seemed pretty much 50-50.

Regardless, in my mind, it's a skoan, and I ain't changing my mind.
strange_complex
Nov. 18th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
It is clearly much more complex than I thought!
ladyguinevere83
Nov. 18th, 2004 10:52 am (UTC)
Well, as a born and bred Southerner (from just south of Reading), I will support your sister in that I, and almost everyone around me as well, have always pronounced it 'skon.' Nor is there much Northern among my relatives, since my mum is from South London and my dad from Cambridge.

I can help you with the 'Fast Pass' though.... it's 'Faast Paass.'

However, since I now live in Leicester, I am endlessly confused by pronunciations and local slang. The strangest though has to be 'going to mash' or in it's long version.... 'going to mash a cup of tea' and variations thereof. It took me forever to work out what they meant! And still I get images of mashed potato every time. And interestingly, one of the people at work is from Scotland, and she was confused by it as well.
(Deleted comment)
strange_complex
Nov. 18th, 2004 11:30 am (UTC)
Er, since I'm not sure what you're talking about, I'll let you do it and see what happens. Are you referring to some kind of book along the lines of a 'Corpus' of standard pronunciations or something??
captainlucy
Nov. 18th, 2004 11:55 am (UTC)
Myself, I generally say "skon", though every now and again I do forget myself and say "Skoan". My grannie was Paisley born & Belfast bred, and always said Skon, so that's probably where I picked it up from.
wardrobewitch
Nov. 18th, 2004 12:34 pm (UTC)
Skon
This is the way that everyone I knew growing up pronounced it. When I did Home Economics (cookery class) it was always scones (pronounced as Skons).

Maybe you should do a poll asking people Skon or Skoan and telling you where they lived growing up.
ex_kharin447
Nov. 18th, 2004 12:43 pm (UTC)
My parents are from Yorkshire and I grew up in the midlands; their pronounciation was usual, but not invaribly,'skon,' mine tends towards scones but also not consistently. I'm not sure there is much of a pattern. See:

http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/changingscene.pdf

In the case of the long a vowel, I think you're certainly correct that longer vowels tended to be associated with south-east, upper middle class RP accents, but it's worth recalling that both regional and class identities aren't anywhere near as stable as was once the case. The above link also has some information on that.
kate_r
Nov. 19th, 2004 01:13 am (UTC)
From my limited experience everywhere I go people think I'm a freak for saying 'skoan'. Most people I've met in England think it's just wrong and all the Scottish people I've met think it's posh! Most Scottish shop keepers I've met and waitresses can't even understand what I want unless I say 'scon' but it feel so wrong to say that!
(Deleted comment)
strange_complex
Nov. 19th, 2004 11:15 am (UTC)
I don't know much about the pronunciation of Dutch, but anything that suggests I'm Right is good!
purple_peril
Nov. 22nd, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
Skon. It's skon, dammit. Sigh, next you'll be telling me the cream goes on first.
strange_complex
Nov. 22nd, 2004 06:44 am (UTC)
*Shock* Of course it does!

I am planning another post, with a different kind of poll, to readdress this issue, since the above hasn't clarified anything to me. But it will have to wait until I'm slightly less snowed under than I am right now...
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

January 2018
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars