How to say “Alright!” in the countryside: a city-dweller’s guide.

Guesting on Naked Blog, Jonny Billericay describes the obligatory round of cheery morning greetings that every self-respecting village dweller must enter into when staggering, bleary of eye and fuzzy of brain, down to the shop for the morning newspaper. In our village (and maybe in most others), there is also a secondary, vaguely class-based convention to observe.

If you don’t speak with a local accent, then the correct form of greeting is a clearly enunciated “Good Morninggg!“, delivered in a sing-song intonation, with plenty of reverb on the final “ng”.

If you actually know the person you are greeting (that is to say, you have been formally introduced and have exchanged at least a few sentences of conversation with each other), then this may be shortened to “Mooor-ning!” – delivered with just the merest hint of hey-ho-here-we-go-again world-weariness.

If you do have a local accent, then the correct greeting is a simple, unaffected, I’m-just-a-straightforward-son-of-the-soil, no-frills-and-flounces-here-thank-you-very-much, “Ullo“.

And of course: if you live in the city, than do not, under any circumstances, attempt any of the above. They’ll only think you’re weird. Sometimes, back in Nottingham during the week, I have to make a conscious effort of will to remember this.

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