I was born in Scotland in 1970 and lived there until I was 18. Then I studied English at Leeds University, moved to Manchester, then Suffolk, then back to Manchester, across the pond to Toronto and then south to Pennsylvania.
My language is muddled. Almost everyday I say something odd – not odd to my ears but definitely to the people I’m speaking to. There is a specific slightly glazed look people round here get when I either mis-pronounce something or just come up with a word they’d never use; or that they might use, but not in the context I’m using it. My kids (especially the youngest one) correct me – a lot. And her piano teacher frequently has no idea what I’m talking about. We’re okay if I reply to her but if I start a topic she often has no idea what I’ve said. That feels weird. But at the same time my Mum (not Mom!) who still lives in Edinburgh, recently told me I’d become quite American in my writing. I’m thinking about having an identity crisis.
In the meantime, I have been toying for ages with writing about the daily differences to be found between English and American English – at least as noted by my Scottish/English brain. And last night I found myself putting the word ‘hoagie’ in a game of Words with Friends. There is a whole world of trouble out there for the English speaker who wants to eat some bread.
So I will begin.
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I am also the author of the historical novel, Charlatan. More about it (and me) can be read here