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What I Have Learnt About Scones

I was so sure there was a regional divide over the pronunciation of 'scone'. And in a way, there is (according to the results of my poll, that is). But the divide is not about how you pronounce 'scone'. I now see that the nation is actually divided between one half who largely agree on how to pronounce 'scone', and one half where there is no marked preference.

People in the south have clear views on the matter. They voted to say that the majority of them (80% at the time of writing) pronounced the word as 'skon'. Yet a moderate, but notable, majority (60%) equally expressed the view that the posh way to pronounce the word is 'skoan'.

This shows that most of my southerner friends think they are gutter trash.

People in the north, meanwhile, disagree entirely over both their own pronunciation of the word, and their beliefs as to which is 'poshest'. The votes are split, near-as-dammit, right down the middle on both issues. Maybe a clearer picture would have emerged if I hadn't lumped Scotland and Northern Ireland in together with north England?

Interestingly, though, I can now see that the three people (venta, jurious and kharin) who explicitly said in my first post on this matter that they thought the division between 'skoan'-sayers and 'skon'-sayers was not a matter of geography, but of random individual preference, all, in fact, describe themselves as having grown up in the North1: within which area I now know that this is true.

Finally, the thing I really liked about this poll was that exactly equal numbers of northerners and southerners voted on it (10 each: again, as correct at the time of writing). To be brutally fair, this is probably mainly because I have just moved to Belfast and made a lot of friends here. But nonetheless, it does make me feel as though my circle of friends is extremely well-balanced.

Makes me feel like a true Midlander, in fact.

UPDATE: Since I posted this poll on tickybox and thus acquired more data, the above findings have changed. Dang. The votes in the North are no longer split. They now follow the same pattern as the south: a preference for saying 'skon', but a tendency to believe that 'skoan' is posher. In fact, the preference for 'skon' over 'skoan' is now more marked in the North than it ever was in the South. So, perhaps there is no regional divide at all, but countrywide agreement. And perhaps we all think we are gutter trash.

Who knows?

1. Actually, you won't see venta's name on that page, because she didn't vote on that poll, but I know she did grow up in Yorkshire.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 24th, 2004 12:29 pm (UTC)
You probably won't like this, but as a child I looked down on people who said skoan. They thought they were poash (whether they were or not). People who said skon were just down-to-earth and Normal.

Bet you wish you'd never asked. BTW, did you ask or arsk?
Nov. 24th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
Ah! Inverse snobbery. ;)

I think I arsked, but, as I said, I am perpetually confused about this matter.
Nov. 24th, 2004 12:53 pm (UTC)
Philately will get you nowhere
You've jogged my memory. Though this comment really belongs here.
You do know about the Penny Lilac, don't you?
Nov. 24th, 2004 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Philately will get you nowhere
No, I didn't, but I do now! Thank you! Consider the Penny Black icon utterly obsolete!
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 24th, 2004 01:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, it's OK. I would have done if I'd known about it when I first made the post, but I think I've had my fill of scones by this stage... ;)

Great idea for a community, though, and I have joined it anyway!
Nov. 25th, 2004 05:48 am (UTC)
OK, so I changed my mind... Can't resist the allure of fresh data! It will probably mess up the patterns I've commented on above. But garrr!
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC)
I still want to know about the great jam/cream divide :)
Nov. 25th, 2004 06:56 am (UTC)
I think you may have to take that on yourself!
Nov. 25th, 2004 09:09 am (UTC)
age 28 and a quarter

Stop gloating about your infernal youthfulness.
Nov. 25th, 2004 09:49 am (UTC)
Given that I sold my soul to get it, I think you have to let me get the value out of it.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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