Do people really speak like that?

Belfast landscape heads by David "Creative" McClelland.

Dialogue springs forth fully formed from the mouths of the regulars in my favourite pub. It’s very odd. This isn’t how people really speak surely?

Normal speech is hesitation, prevarication, vagueries, misunderstanding, repetition, replete with em-ing and er-ing. Isn’t it?

But what I heard while perched at the bar sounded honed by Elmore Leonard. It can have/seem to have an aggressive edge to it. (See here for a foreigner’s view.)

This snatch of speech begins as the fella on my left hand explains that he drinks in the pub most weekdays, at which point fella on my right hand jumps in…

LEFT: I drink here most lunchtimes.


LEFT: Because I can.


LEFT: I’m drinking for one now…

RIGHT (interrupting forcefully): No! Never explain. You were a hero there. The hero in films never explains himself. It’s just bang, here it is, this is it. For 45 seconds there, you were a hero. But you blew it.

You have to be on your mettle to dip into conversations at that bar. But I’m never disappointed.

So – to repeat the question. Do people really speak like that?

They do in Belfast.



Filed under language, life

15 responses to “Do people really speak like that?

  1. Tomorrow (Apr 26) isn’t a bar-type situation and I hope (and pray!) to keep my mouth shut (oh please, God) and just absorb, Absorb, ABSORB!

    You see, I have the unique opportunity to be one of eighty people to have lunch with the Dalai Lama after he speaks to a crowd of 4,000 people about peace at Loyola University. I plan to write about the experience in next week’s blog post at Speaking from the Heart.

  2. The Dalai Lama might like a beer, anyone ever asked him?

  3. I am no expert on this subject since I only frequent Belfast pubs with strange men!! 😉

  4. Doesn’t everyone in Ireland speak like this?

  5. While perched on a stool at the pub … anything can happen.
    Blessings – Maxi

  6. rummuser

    They do over here too, except that it is likely to be in Marathi or Hindi.

  7. That was indeed an odd conversation, especially the end.

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