Friday, July 22, 2005
How Do I Pronounce Slough?
I have completely avoided the word in its slow or slew form, and while I may say it from time to time, hardly ever write it in its sluff form. Hopefully, you will be more courageous than I.
In the early 1930s, ie well pre-war, the Poet laureate John Betjeman wrote flippantly
"Come friendly bombs and rain on Slough
It is not fit for humans now
Blow to bits and smithereens
Those air-conditioned bright canteens"
Strangely, he is said to have written those lines while on holiday in Ireland.
After the war, it was greatly extended as a new town for bombed out Londoners, and arguably became what Betjeman joked about.
More recently, the original (English) version of "The Office" which is (or will shortly be) on TV in the USA, was set in Slough. Nuff said.
Actually, I believe it's not totally amodyne, although new towns are rarely as interesting as old ones, but it is just the butt of jokes. I have always suspected that the jokes started due to intellectual snobbery about its name.