Just back from a three-day meeting in NYC where I caught up with an old friend, MF (of racing night fame), for dinner. He’s had a glance through this blog and informed me that I’ve incorrectly stated in an earlier post that Madonna is only known as Madge in the UK. My many hours of covert reading of The National Enquirer and People Magazine in Los Angeles nail salons has somehow let me down when it comes to American celebrity nicknames. MF also informed me that the gay community has now taken this a step further and refers to Madge as Vadge, a line of thought I’ll pursue no further.
The title of this posting says it all. Madonna is not even called Madge in the states. That’s a nickname the tabloids of her adopted country have given her. It’s inevitable that after three years in the UK that British-isms now pepper my speech, but surely that doesn’t mean I sound like phony-Brit Madge?
Reading back through these blogs, there is rich evidence of my linguistic confusion. My mother in law is “in the hospital” (American) not “in hospital” (Madge). Yet a neighborhood is “posh”, not “ritzy.” But I left a message on the “answering machine” not the “answer phone.” Still, I managed to “let the side down.” I can hardly wait to work in “jolly hockey sticks” and “nip to the loo.”
Recently I sought the advice of M., local barman, former Fleet Street journalist, sometime butler and my favourite (favorite?) Cotswold Renaissance man on whether I was in danger of becoming a Madge.
“Rubbish,” he said and proceeded to assure me I was far from pulling a Ms. Ritchie.
His counsel was that reverting back to deliberate American speak would be ill-advised in the country. Walk into a rural pub demanding a beer and the wall goes up even further between local and outsider. Being a weekender is enough of a label without the Yank-thing to contend with.
So goodnight for now. I’m absolutely shattered and need a holiday.