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British accents are contagious


Speaking of people abroad, last week there was a British man at the conference named Oliver who, naturally, had a snazzy British accent. One night I was having a drink at the bar with my friend Brian when he struck up a conversation with Oli. I was too busy inhaling truffle popcorn to follow what they were talking about, but all of a sudden my ears perked up when I heard Brian’s accent change. “It’s quite excellent!” he said jovially in a fake British accent. From Oli’s cool reaction you could tell it wasn’t the first time someone had pulled an English accent on him, but from his one raised eyebrow, you could tell it definitely wasn’t going to be the last. I almost choked on my popcorn when it happened, and afterward Brian said he couldn’t help it–it just came out of nowhere. Do you think the reverse happens when Americans move to London? Do people there have the same compulsive urge to start their sentences with “Dude” when talking to us?

Last modified: January 10, 2019