One of the observations I’ve made, especially over the last few weeks, is how the language you use can be a massive betrayal of your current situation and the situation you are used to finding yourself in. When meeting new people and telling stories about my life, most of which have happened in the last 9 years, I find myself using a word which no longer applies “We”. It’s such a small word but it carries with it an understanding that you are part of a collective. The used of the term “we” invites a logical question of “who is we”. When you now realise that that word no longer applies to you or your current situation it is embarrassing to have to explain your use.
That has actually been one of the most difficult parts of these last few months. The alignment of the language you use to match with the environment you are currently in. “We” is probably one of the most common words that I have had to actively curb my use of. Certain terms actually only make sense to a much smaller community or collective and can be alien to others, Cwtch and Hiraeth. Both of these are welsh words that have worked there way into my language naturally through them being used by my soon to be ex-in-laws. Using them in London warrants confused looks and generally quizzical expressions. The same is true for a number of, for lack of a better phrase, northern words.
Language is not just a way in which to tell stories about our existence and a way to pass on experiences to others it is so much more than that. Dialect and the use of certain words are a story in themselves, a history of who you are and where you have been.