Stiff Upper Lip

Sherlock Holmes

I’m watching Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, which I taped yesterday.

A man just fell into a room, clutching his neck. As he was helped to a chair, he said,

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry…”

I love the fact that he’d been stabbed in the neck but was apologising for his rude, un-announced entrance. Now, that’s a true gentleman. He also had that lovely old posh English accent. It doesn’t exist now: contemporary posh Brits have an Americanised version. You can spot a toff because they say things like, “I’ll have a liddle drink…” The posh English pronounced “T” has disappeared.

So, in order for you to speak proper, like, here’s what you should say if you are attacked by a sharp miscreant:

“I’m terribly sorry, I appear to have been stebbed. I must apologise for the soiling of your furnishings. Please allow me to peh for the demeges.”

Note that the normal “a” vowel sound becomes an “e” in Old Posh. So, ‘stabbed’ becomes ‘stebbed.’ Also, ‘very’, which we normally say as ‘veree’ becomes ‘verreh.’ In the same manner, ‘pay’ becomes ‘peh.’ In New Posh, the transposition is less drastic and you must Americanise all ‘ts’ into ‘ds.’

Thus :

“What beautiful hands you have!”

becomes, in Old Posh:

“What beautiful hens you hev!”

and, in New Posh:

“What beaudiful hends you have”

Apologisms to proper linguists for the above rambling. I is only ‘aving a bit of a larf, innit?