Thursday, 19 January 2012

Possessive

Whilst watching our favourite soap a few weeks ago, I noticed something...


Sophie and Rosie Webster were having a discussion regarding the state of their parents failing marriage.  I think Sophie was angry about her father breaking up her lesbian wedding at the altar by implying that she didn't want to go through with it just before the vows.  (These British soaps are very high minded!)

Sophie kept referring to her parents as "my mum" and "my dad", even though she was talking to her sister.  It hit my ear strangely.  I noticed this also applied when Sophie was talking to her mom about her dad.  She kept calling him "my dad".  There's also a use of "my sister" when talking to parents, rather than using her name.  Which to me... If I said "Matt" to my parents, they know who he is... he's my brother, their son.  

I can't imagine talking to my brother about our parents and including the "my".  I mean, we have the same parents, so he knows who I mean when I say "mom" or "dad".  I realized that, even when talking to Ross, I don't include the "my".  If I'm calling someone "mom", the "my" is implied in my world.  Does that make sense?  I mean who else would Ross think I was talking about?  

I asked Ross about this and he thought for a second and said he would have included the "my" when talking to his sister about his parents or to one parent about another.  I would never do it in talking to family about family, but if I was talking about family to a friend, I'd be much more likely to use the "my".  

Ross wasn't sure if this was solely a northern thing, or a British thing (but said probably a northern...).  I don't think either way is "right", but it's a weird little cultural difference, isn't it?  I love these tiny differences that hit your ear because they're not quite what your used to.

What do you think?
Do you include the "my" or is it implicit?
Do you use it with some audiences, but not with others?


5 comments:

  1. I definitely don't include any my's!

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  2. I use mys only when an unspoken "our" wouldn't be accurate. So I'd say "mom" to a sibling but "my mom" to a friend. It seems weirdly greedy to me to say "my" when the other person has an equal claim to the person.

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  3. @esbee That is a great way to put it! It does seem greedy- I'm like "she's you sister's dad too!"

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  4. You know I've noticed this same thing with my step-kids and Darren's family (although he says they don't). They do use the "my". I always thought the kids were just trying to make sure I didn't get mistaken for their mother, but I'm guessing it's a cultural thing. I don't think it's solely a North England thing...I think it kinda gets around. It's always sounded very strange to me. It can easily be taken as exclusionary.

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  5. You know I've noticed this same thing with my step-kids and Darren's family (although he says they don't). They do use the "my". I always thought the kids were just trying to make sure I didn't get mistaken for their mother, but I'm guessing it's a cultural thing. I don't think it's solely a North England thing...I think it kinda gets around. It's always sounded very strange to me. It can easily be taken as exclusionary.

    ReplyDelete