Monday 15 May 2023

Choose Your Words Carefully: 11 (in Quotes)

My voice marks me out as too embarrassingly middle-class to ever be welcomed into the lefty fold, but as a grammar school then sixth form drop out I'm sneered at by actual poshos.
(Writer and women's rights activist Jo Bartosch) 

In South London, boys avoid a kicking by adopting a Cockney accent, while girls get ahead by sounding genteel. (Via David Bennun)

I automatically get annoyed when I’m on holiday and I hear an American accent coming from somewhere. I just know I’m about to hear some nonsense. (@LazarusKumi)

Scottish students at Edinburgh University are treated like outsiders because of their accents and comparative lack of wealth, a campaign group has claimed. (@magnusllewellin 2023-03-09)

My grandparents, who, like me, speak in a Wearside accent/dialect, do this with my wife, who speaks in a not remotely posh Norf London/S. Herts accent. My nana is like "Eeee, doesn't she talk lovely?" (@bartramsgob)

A lot of [public-school boys], I noticed, have a special "cleaning lady voice" which is this slightly flirty, old school charming way of talking to people they regard as underlings or inferiors. (@KatyFBrand)

In 2020, France made accent discrimination, or “glottophobie” a crime. During the debate, “parliamentarians complained that many broadcasters with strong regional accents were pigeonholed into reporting on rugby matches or delivering the weather”.

Listening to Angela Rayner on the Today Programme. If she ever had an English teacher he or she should be ashamed. Just imagine this person representing my country on the international stage. (@prodworthy. Translation: Angela Rayner has a northern accent. And now there’s a big fuss about Rayner going to the opera at Glyndebourne – I was called “precious” on Twitter for not agreeing that she is “common”.)

People would prefer to be represented by a barrister with a posh voice, and think that lawyers with a regional accent sound less intelligent or professional, research from @TrentUni and @DMULawSchool shows – in @thetimes (@legalhackette)

One senior barrister recalled being told by a judge that if the lawyer wanted to practise at the Chancery Bar – where property, commercial and banking disputes dominate – “you will have to lose your Yorkshire accent”. Another barrister said their accent stood out so much that they moved back to the north of England... [One barrister’s] ambition was fuelled by being told: “People like you don’t become barristers.” (Times)

One Black Country student said his voice was mimicked whenever he spoke. Others said they were hesitant to speak up in class or ask questions. A student from Lancashire was told his voice was uneducated and aggressive. Another from the same area, who was ostracised by wealthier classmates, was asked if his family worked in coal mines or he grew up in a council house... Someone I had just met once asked me whether my home town was one of those desolate wastelands where the factories used to be. (Times)

A study has found that people from some parts of the country are significantly more likely to be mocked or singled out because of the way they speak. The standard received pronunciation accent, French-accented English, and “national” standard varieties (Scottish, American, Irish) were all ranked highly in the Sutton Trust’s Speaking Up report, but accents associated with Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and ethnic minority accents, such as Afro-Caribbean and Indian, “tend to be the lowest ranked”, said Sky News. (The Week)

Almost half of UK workers have had their accents mocked, criticised or singled out in a social setting, a survey suggests. Researchers found 46% of workers have faced jibes about their accents, with 25% reporting jokes at work. An entrenched "hierarchy of accent" caused social anxiety throughout some people's lives, the report concluded. They said those with northern English or Midlands accents were more likely to worry about the way they spoke. Many of those who were mocked for the way they spoke admitted anxiety over their future career prospects because of perceived prejudiced attitudes, said the research... funded by Sutton Trust. ( on the Accent Bias in Britain project) 

A team of researchers at Northumbria University said that “accentism” causes “profound” social, economic, and educational harm for those with “denigrated accents” in the UK. There is a push to make accents a protected characteristic under the Equality Act after a government commission found that some civil servants feel compelled to disguise their accents at work. Dr Robert McKenzie, a social linguist who led the project, said “accentism” is “alive and well” in Britain, with most people often unaware of their “deeply embedded implicit biases”. He added that students with northern accents were less likely to secure spots at Russell Group universities while people with “denigrated or low in status accents” were more likely to be found guilty of a crime in court. (Times 2022-06-14. The report is called (Speaking of Prejudice.)

Twitter users disparage:
Misuse of ‘yourself/myself’. 
Brits refusing to even try to speak other languages when abroad, 
“Go shop”, “go toilet” etc.
Pronouncing the L in almond.
A thousand pound instead of pounds.
Saying “pitcher” for picture and “heighth” for height.

No comments:

Post a Comment