The Longford Accent
Sir, - I venture to assert that concern about the precarious position of the Longford accent (Midland Report, August 31st), is quite unwarranted, as I believe that this aspect of our cultural heritage is irretrievably ingrained. I have personal experience, having heard a relative, on disembarking at Cobh after 50 years among a variety of cultures and accents, respond to his welcome home in undiluted Longfordese.
Of course, the accent is not the sole index of Longford people's distinctiveness; inseparable from it is the phraseology which is a fertile source of unique and colourful turns of expression: "It rained a sight yesterday", and so on. Such expressions might be regarded as quaint by sophisticates on the east coast. They are, however, inherent, durable expressions, unlike the ephemeral buzzwords which are a feature of smartspeak in certain milieux. They should not be regarded as solecisms, rather, as Longford idioms.
I doubt if the baneful (linguistically speaking) influence of Dublin 4 or the homogenising efforts of the illuminati in Brussels will ever undermine Longford's individuality. Vive la difference! - Yours, etc.,
James Dolan, Kilmacannon, Newtownforbes, Co Longford.