JMT Certified

Do you know where you’re going to?

“Hey, tha rinna rEnglish”

“tha” [pronounced like fa in faster]
Definition: colloquial term for “that” used in Stoke-on-Trent.

innar [pronounced inner]
Definition: colloquial term for “isn’t” used in Stoke-on-Trent.

Translation: “My dear fellow, that simply isn’t correct English.”

I had this accusation levelled at me some years ago by a lovely lady who was a close friend and fluent in the colloquial language known as “potteries”, just after I had said something obviously (and deliberately) grammatically incorrect, however, her response was somewhat ironic and rather amusing.

(For anyone who would like to see more of this “potteries” local dialect, a Google search using “May un mar lady” will return some really amusing results.)

I guess it’s just the way my mind is wired that I look out for words puzzles of this kind.  There are many examples in lyrics to popular songs, and perhaps one of the best known is the theme to “Live and Let Die” from Paul McCartney and Wings which includes the phrase “this ever changing world in which we live in”.

But if this ever changin’ world
In which we live in
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die

~ Paul McCartney and Wings

According to the version McCartney gave to “Pop Fiction” the lyrics were actually “… this ever changing world in which we’re living”, which makes more sense grammatically, however, McCartney says that ultimately he regards “live in” as “wronger but cuter.” (sic)

Another song title that makes it into the bad grammar category is “Do you know where you’re going to?” by Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser, and sung by Diana Ross as the theme to the film Mahogany. 

Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Where are you going to, do you know?

~ Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser

Apparently, this song gets included in as an example of bad grammar because it ends a statement in a preposition. It seems that “Do you know where you’re going?”, or even “Do you know to where you’re going?” would be correct grammatically, however that wouldn’t work very well for this melody.  For me, one of the things that make lines like this so memorable is often due to something that seems “not quite right”, and that causes it to stick I’m my memory.

Anyway, back to the theme tune to Mahogany.  

Diana Ross sings those lyrics as the theme tune to a film called Mahogany.  This is a film about a young girl called Tracey Chambers who grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Chicago.  Tracey had a dream; her dream was to become a successful Fashion Designer and her dream inspired her to do everything she could to make her dream become a reality.  

Along the way Tracey was spotted bay a top fashion photographer called Sean McAvoy, and Sean invited Tracey to join him at the fashion capital of the world, on the catwalks in Rome.  It didn’t take long for Tracey to become Sean’s top fashion model and he gave her the stage name “Mahogany”, hence the name of the film.

Tracey then set about establishing her own fashion design business and before long she was modelling her own designs and selling them to the rich and famous.  Tracey’s dream had become a reality.

Over the years I guess; like many of us, I’ve had several “dreams” just like Tracey had.  Some of these dreams have already become a reality and some are yet to be realised.  My dream of finding a lifetime partner has been realised, and we are celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary this month.  I had a dream of becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management (FInstLM), and that has been realised. Another dream realised more recently was to share the stage with one of my leadership role models and mentors: John C Maxwell and that dream became a reality last summer.

Sharing the stage with John C Maxwell

A dream I am currently pursuing is to become a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association to go with the FInstLM, and I am working hard towards making that become a reality for me.  Another dream I have yet to realise is that of owning a Ford Mustang.  I recently had access to a demonstrator for a day as a birthday present and I thoroughly enjoyed that experience, and I look forward to that dream becoming a reality one day too.

For many years I had a dream of playing Bass Guitar in a band.  I love music, and I love playing music. Whatever music I listen to I rarely pay much attention to the lyrics if there are any, rather I find myself listening to the bass, after all “it’s all ‘bout the bass”.  So when a friend of mine asked if I would like to play bass guitar in their band I immediately jumped at the chance!

I had a cheap bass guitar and an old combo amp, and I had even played a few gigs more than 10 years previously, so I immediately embraced the opportunity. I hadn’t been playing anything regularly for a while so I was quite excited at the prospect of playing again.

“To succeed in life we must stay within our strength zone, but continually move outside our comfort zone.”

~John Maxwell

It wasn’t until after I had obtained a copy of the music that we would be playing and started to practice that I remembered: we don’t use music on stage.  Not only would I have to learn the pieces, I would have to remember them to be able to play them on stage without music!

Well, some people seem to be blessed with a good memory and can recall names and faces, song lyrics and place names with ease.  However, unfortunately, I am not one of those people.  In fact, I would put it this way:

“I have a great forgettory, and it’s getting better with age.  In fact, if you want something forgetting, let me know and I’ll forget it for you.”

So, for a while I wrestled with the notion that I would have to abandon any idea of playing bass in stage with the band.  However, my passion for music and my eagerness to play bass led me to confront my self-doubt and to start working diligently to learn the pieces, and to memorise them to be able to perform on stage.  

On one of my early outings, a member of the audience asked the sound crew to turn the bass up because they couldn’t hear it, only to discover that “the bassist isn’t actually playing anything at the moment” because I was struggling to remember the notes.  However, I persevered and found ways to help me remember my part, and I now play regularly throughout the year!

I have a “Dreams Checklist”, which is a bit like a “bucket list” of things that I would like to do or achieve.

My Dreams Checklist:
Become a fellow of the Professional Speaking Association
Own a Ford Mustang
Get fit and healthy, and stay that way!

Your Dreams Checklist:
____________________
____________________
____________________
____________________

About Roger Fairhead

Roger is a leadership specialist delivering Leadership for Business Achievement through Speaking, Training and Coaching to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.

Leadership for Business also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.