This seems a natural followup to our discussion the other day about how American and British accents — human accents — diverged.
I didn’t listen to it until today, although it was brought to my attention yesterday by Professor Elemental. Let this be a lesson to you that when the Professor recommends something, one should drop everything and attend to it immediately, because otherwise one is missing out unnecessarily.
It’s a podcast in which Sir Patrick Stewart answers an American listener’s question regarding whether British cows moo differently — or rather, whether British people moo differently when imitating cows. (Although his answer speaks more to the first question.)
Sir Patrick answered the question thoroughly and respectfully. His answer, in part:
“It’s not a straight-forward, simple answer unlike, probably, many other country where a cow’s moo is a cow’s moo. In England, you understand, we are dominated by class, by social status, and by location. So, for example, a cow that is in the field next to my house in West Oxfordshire would moo in one kind of way, and a cow in a field in the semi-industrial town I grew up in in the North of England would moo in another kind of way….
Well, if I were at home in West Oxfordshire right now and I walked down my lane and there were all these cows and I say, ‘Hi, good morning, cows. And they would moo at me like this: ‘Mooooooouhh.’ Now that’s a very conservative moo…”
You should listen to the whole thing (the “listen” button is at the bottom of the post). Or at least, as the site recommends, don’t stop before he gets to the Cockney moo…