I recall seeing a television interview with Alan Bleasdale a few years ago. A lover of the spoken word, he was talking about how the English language changes and grows through the years. He was particularly very proud at the inventiveness of Liverpudlians as communicators.

For example someone could say "she was so shocked. It was as if someone had struck her a blow or slapped her across the face". Alternatively they could use Liverpudlian shorthand and admit "she was gobsmacked".

This put me in mind of a shopping trip I made to Liverpool in the late 1970's. As the stores were starting to close I was passing the entrance of George Henry Lee's. A weary shop girl was coming out and her best friend was waiting to meet her. I could hear their conversation as I walked behind them.

"Y'alright?" asked the best friend.

"Oh Sue" the shop girl confided " I've had a real arse'n'elbows day"

Where else but Liverpool could you find such economy of language that says so much, and in such an amusing way?

(from the Of Time and the City website community)

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By of time and the city of time and the city

This story was added on 17th September 2010

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