Though my parents are British, their accents have been softened by the relentless tides of Bostonian voices over the years. Nonetheless, I grew up familiar with the lovely way English people pronounce things.
Now that I live in the UK, every once in a while a word surprises me as particularly odd, and I think it must be because my parents lost that uniquely British pronunciation early on in their US years.
Let me be less vague.
“Weekend”. Most of us Amurricans, and I venture even many Brits, would articulate that as WEEK-end, emphasis on on the first syllable. But quite a few people here, perhaps the posh particularly, say the word as: “whee-KEND”. The “w” sound is slightly aspirated, and these certain British speakers seem awfully anxious to reach the last syllable, always declaring it with gusto.
[I have been trying for 20 minutes to find an English person saying “weekend” on Youtube. Surprisingly difficult to search for.]
Smooth segue: the Philosopher and I stole away for a weeKEND away. We had found a great deal at a nice hotel chain usually used for business conferences.
It was one of the strangest hotels I have ever seen. Presumably built in the 1970s, it was laid out motel/dorm room style, with little pods of bedrooms built around staircases that were outside. To get to the restaurant, gym or (importantly!) free coffee bar, you had to walk a long outdoors hallway. In the freezing cold.
Perhaps the architect was from California.
Our room, peculiarly, had 4 large windows in it, giving the effect that the walls were nearly entirely made of glass.
We drove into town to catch a showing of Mission Impossible 4. The cinema was also, surprisingly, in a massive outdoor mall. Maybe the whole town was designed by the aforementioned deluded Californian.
After sharing a delicious pizza (Italian sausage, fennel, marscapone) and salad (chicken, pancetta, baby onions, balsamic), we returned to the hotel where a few cheeky bars of chocolate awaited (Galaxy Caramel and Cadbury’s Aero, if you must know, Dad).
Niether cars nor people, it seems, are built for snow in this country, so the journey home took a bit longer than expected, and included just a liiiittle bit of driving the wrong way down a one-way street by accident.
But, all’s well that end’s well! We are home, safe, and eating apples borrowed from the hotel coffee bar.