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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, January 26, 2008
    On Liverpool's English
    Good to get a visit today from Roy, on a leg of his long walk down England towards his 50th birthday. He scrambled down the edge of the metal bridge by Broadway to join me in a cup of tea and to exchange gifts.

    Punctuated by a trip to Liverpool Cathedral to join 2,000 others hearing Rowan Williams give a masterful lecture on Europe, Faith and Culture (please read it, it's exceptional), I've spent much of the rest of the day reading through parts of the book Roy gave me, The Mersey Sound: Liverpool's Language, People and Places edited by Anthony Grant and Clive Grey. They are colleagues of Roy's at Edge Hill University, which has become the sole academic institution ever to devote serious attention to the spoken language of the citizens of Liverpool.

    Edge Hill Uni in Ormskirk (a West Lancs town with a Liverpool postcode), has seen a fruitful coming-together of scholars there with a common interest in Liverpool's English and this book looks like a fine collection of essays on the history, perceptions and development of Scouse, a form of English far different from the pitiful Harry Enfield and Fritz Spiegl cliches, a very healthy dialect which Kevin Watson asserts, is 'getting Scouser'.