Wrong-footing the Enemy

  • Kenneth Hudson


The natives of the Channel Islands play a very subtle and skilful game with visitors. Jersey, Guernsey and the rest enjoy a substratum of Norman-French culture, so that they abound with place names, street names, personal names and shop names which look French. But, for those not in the know, it is impossible to forecast with any accuracy how these words should be pronounced. There are three possibilities — French, English and a strange form of bastardised French which bears roughly the same relation to the French of Paris, or even Caen, as Cockney does to standard English — and whichever the innocent visitor chooses is almost certain to be wrong. He has been put gently but unmistakably in his place, wrong-footed. Even after years of residence, he will continue to make mistakes. Unerringly correct pronunciation in the Channel Islands is an instinct one has to be born with. The parallel with upper-class English is very close.


Black People Popular Music Social Scale Channel Island Correct Pronunciation 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Kenneth Hudson 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Hudson

There are no affiliations available

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