The dirty if not very surprising little secret of this blog is that the majority of its readers are U.K. residents, who are surprised or possibly amused that Americans have been picking up their lingo. And it’s to these Britons that I address a question.
I was reading an article in the New York Times by critic Alastair Macaulay about the quality of dance in Broadway musicals. At the end, he wrote:
As a Briton going to shows on Broadway, may I add what a fun surprise it is to hear, in two different productions, the British glottal stop? Lauren in “Kinky Boots” speaks of going to “I’aly”; and Mrs. Wormwood in “Matilda” says “Bu’ I’ve go’ a baby.”In Britain the glottal stop is never heard in polite society. In America, however, it’s an exotic thrill.
That rather gobsmacked me. I have written about the current popularity of the glottal stop in the U.S., and I thought it was widespread in Britain. I certainly hear it all the time from Jamie Oliver and Ricky Gervais. But perhaps they don’t belong, in Mr. Macaulay’s view, to “polite society.” In any case, I await the reactions of NOOB readers.