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Would you like a drink?

May 24, 2016

This week I am in Hull, where I am doing a series of readings in schools from my children’s book The Big Wish, which has been shortlisted for the Hull Children’s Book AwardIt frequently happens, when I arrive at a school a few minutes early, that a teacher or secretary will ask me: “Do you want a drink?” I’m tempted to reply, “I’ll have a double brandy, please.” But I know they don’t mean a drink drink. They mean a hot beverage, a tea or coffee. This, I think, is a linguistic north-south divide. In the south, if one adult asks another ”Do you want a drink?” that can really only mean an alcoholic drink. (If you wanted to include the possibility of a soft drink you’d say “Do you want something to drink?”) In the north, the offer of a drink means “Do you want a cuppa?” and that’s it. I wonder at what linguistic latitude this changes? If someone in the Midlands offers you a drink, what should you expect?

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4 Comments
  1. Mike Williams permalink

    “If someone in the Midlands offers you a drink, what should you expect?”
    A kipper tie…? (heavy Brummie accent required)

  2. Carol permalink

    Hello. I’m in America – my husband and I just watched the ‘Back in Time’ series, so of course I did a Google search, and found this. Just wanted to say how much I loved that show. So much fun.

    Just to keep this on topic, here in the northeastern part of the states we would say ‘something to drink’ or ‘can I get you anything to drink’ even if we were talking about alcohol.

  3. Vicki permalink

    You visited my daughters school in Hull on Tuesday – Endike Academy. She has always been very imaginative and loves to write. She was very inspired by your visit and on Tuesday evening informed me she wants to be an author when she grows up! She has a question for you (on top of the one she asked you at school). ‘Is it hard being an author?’ Thankyou for any reply and good luck with the book 🙂

    • Nice to hear from you! I am glad your daughter enjoyed the visit. You could tell her that yes, it is sometimes hard being an author, but it can also be very rewarding. I wish her luck!

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