Sunday, 18 April 2010

I'm not being funny but...


I will write a book eventually, on the South Wales Valleys and the people who live therein (which has included me). I have collected thoughts and happenings in a book for a short time, and in my head for a long time. One includes a horse living in a tenth floor flat. True story. Until they are assembled to form the pages of a novel I thought I would share some ideas here. *

I do not like generalisations, so what I'll describe about Valley people (whom I love and of which I am one) certainly does not apply to everyone who lives there. It does apply to a lot though.

There is a tendency to extraneously embellish each spoken sentence. By which I do not mean the vague floweriness of a poet who writes at length about seagulls and wind, but use of a stock set of punctuating phrases, some possibly indigenous to the valleys. These idioms tend to kick start a sentence, and also round it off. In extra special examples, a whole set may form a sort of superfluous saying pick and mix.

List of Phrases:
To be honest
I'm not being funny but...
At the end of the day
Fair play
To be fair
But there we are see

Example: Dai is telling Gareth about his work problem and how it was resolved.

"To be honest I thought about fucking quitting. I'm not being funny but no-one should have to work those hours for no extra pay. At the end of the day there are laws against these things. Fair play, I had a word with the boss and he said he hadn't realised how I felt. To be fair I'd never told him. But there we are see, it shows honesty is the best policy."

Have fun by creating your own concoction of extraneous embellishments, and say far more words than necessary. And if you find yourself in a South Wales Valley, eager to ingratiate yourself with the locals, sprinkle liberally into your sentences. You'll do fine.

* I'm not suggesting my novel will be good enough to get to print. I realised this might sound a little arrogant without a disclaimer. Completion and self-satisfaction my initial goal, then I'll start bribing some publishers.

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