Saturday, 23 March 2013

Lern yersen t'speak Coville

I love anything to do with accents and dialects, so I've been enjoying looking through this Facebook page about my hometown.

Coalville does have a significantly different accent to, say, Leicester, only 12 miles away, because the mining industry brought influxes of people from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and then later County Durham and Ayrshire. That's probably why a Coalville accent can sound surprisingly northern, although there are certainly West Midland influences in there too.

Although I spent my entire childhood in Coalville, and have been back there a good few years now, I don't have a typical accent, probably because neither of my parents are local - my dad's from North Lincolnshire and my mum from South Wales. But a lot of the stuff on that page sounds familiar, and if I was back in town, I'd certainly normally use some of the words myself ('snap' for packed lunch, for example).

It set me thinking about the name of the town. Every few years, some local businessman or councillor suggests changing it, saying that it projects the wrong image and is too backward-looking now that the pits have gone. I'd always oppose that anyway, being proud of our history, but anyway it never seems to take account of the fact that no-one local sounds the 'l' - it's Coville, and it always will be.

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