You see, the Youth of Ireland have been hit by a virus: the Murkan Accent. Fighting my way through a flock of schoolchildren in Dublin, I was surprised at the number of young American teens dressed in Irish school uniforms. Double check: they weren't American, they were Irish - imitating a weird kind of American accent. Because, like, it's, like, so kewl and awesome to, like, talk, like, like this. This rendered even more bizarre because none of the Americans I know (and I know a few) speak like this. And any I have heard speak like this were featured in "reality shows" (whose reality is this?) on MTV.
So what's going on here? Obviously, it's far cooler to be from, say, New York than Termonfeckin, Co. Louth. But there's nothing wrong with being from Termonfeckin, Co. Louth (have never been there, but with a name like that, it's on my To Do list). And there's nothing wrong with sounding like you come from Termonfeckin, Co. Louth - as long as other people understand you. Pretending to be from Manhattan when you're actually from Termonfeckin, Co. Louth, leads me to wonder if you just don't like who you are and where you're from ... and that makes me a bit sad.
In any case, many teens don't like who they are and where they're from - that's what you learn on the first day of How To Be A Teenager, isn't it? The ironic thing is that the small towns of South Dakota and Wisconsin and Iowa and Tennessee are probably chock-full of bored teenagers who would give their eye-teeth to be from somewhere as glamorous and exotic as Termonfeckin, Co. Louth, and they all probably speak the same way Irish teenagers are trying to (not sure about Tennessee - I haven't yet heard a teenage Paddy try to ape a Nashville accent. Yet.)
Sadly, though, Murkanism is spreading upwards and now I hear an increasing number of portly, middle-aged Irish people developing a strong, misplaced Murkan accent. As a result, I have put together a short guide for Irish readers. This is a set of guidelines, not rules, and they do not apply to American readers - you might be able get away with it. We can't. Therefore I would strongly recommend that after the age of 16, my fellow Irish people cease and desist using any of the following:
|Use your words. In your indoor vioce. Find a few choice verbs, stir in a couple of pronouns and sprinkle liberally with adjectives. Season with adverbs and recount to your friends.|
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