My third and final example of local speech relates to a time much later when I was a graduate student in France. I returned to England for Christmas, accompanied by two friends, one of whom was a girl from Brantford in Ontario. We crossed the English Channel in a ferry from Le Havre to my home town Southampton. The members of the crew were all from Southampton, and I was amazed when Merirose informed me that she couldn't understand a word any of them said. I had become familiar with regional English accents through the radio and during my time as an undergraduate at Manchester University in the North-West of England, and had difficulty realizing that an English-speaker could have problems with what to me was a familiar, and little marked, mode of speech.