Lost for words

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Yesterday morning an article grabbed the attention of the dictionary geek inside me. Collins is launching a search to rediscover regional dialect words that may now be extinct. What a great way to resuscitate a dying part of our rich language. The appeal is asking people to send the details of regional words via Twitter and the last instance that the word may have been used.

The power of language never fails to fascinate me. Born and bred a Yorkshire lass, I then spent four happy years at uni as an honoury Geordie and have recently migrated to Manchester. I consider myself lucky to have been privy to a local dialect or two. It always makes me laugh that when I get together with my childhood friends we pepper every sentence with Yorkshire-isms as though it’s a secret code that only we understand. Using and understanding a local dialect gives you a real affinity with a place, its people and its past. Each of these words is dripping with history and can tell its own story.

It was the last bit of the article that triggered alarm bells as I started to wonder if the likes of Twitter may actually be playing its own part in the demise of regional dialects. Surely it’s inevitable that when we talk to people from all corners of the World Wide Web we’re less likely to use regional dialect words. I’m not about to condemn all things cyberspace but I do plead that we keep these words alive.

Share them, speak them, tweet them and post them. Whatever it takes, let’s not lose any more! In the meantime I plan to perfect my new local lingo and then I can gab (talk) with the best of them and won’t look like a burmyed (silly person)?!