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Accents and dialects

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Do regional dialects have any place in the modern world? - Home News - UK - The Independent. It got him talking about the language of his youth.

Do regional dialects have any place in the modern world? - Home News - UK - The Independent

In his early teens in 1960s Penrith, a market town just outside the Lake District National Park, Dad explained he and his friends had a phrase they'd use to describe women who were, what they called in those days, well-endowed: "weel top niukled". He and a Cornish mining pal used to joke that if they ever owned a mine they would call it that: "Weel," he said, meant "well"; "top" took its usual meaning, but "niukled", the key word, he couldn't remember. We trawled online Cumbrian dialect dictionaries and Dad asked his three siblings if they could recall it. Every time we drew a blank. The words, though, stuck with me. The meaning of "niukled" still evaded me, though. Not only did I get an answer to my question – I also got an invitation. Loading gallery National Dialect Day.

Learn: Attitudes to accents and dialects. Have you ever 'poshed up' your accent? Teachers pressured to speak “the Queen’s English”  ShutYerFace AccentsInAcademia. Teachers feel pressure to 'standardise' their accents in class. Teachers feel under pressure to change their accents to be understood in the classroom, according to a study carried out at The University of Manchester.

Teachers feel pressure to 'standardise' their accents in class

Why speaking proper still counts as having an accent. “Accent”, the journalist AA Gill writes in The Angry Island: Hunting the English, “is the last redoubt of prejudice”.

Why speaking proper still counts as having an accent

Depending on where you hail from, it’s a statement that will have varying degrees of truth. I know Londoners of a certain background who are unconvinced by the idea that how you sound can be a barrier to success. When an Accent Gets in the Way of a Job - At Work. Do accents matter in modern Britain? Once, so long ago that it could have been in another life, I was required to take a voice test by the BBC.

Do accents matter in modern Britain?

I had been previously recorded reading the Autocue and, confounded perhaps by barely submerged cadences from the East End, someone found cause to worry. So off I went to the chief voice trainer – a man whose honey-coated, phonetically immaculate delivery made him a legend inside the corporation and beyond. Does your accent really hinder your job prospects? 'Brummie' is the least attractive accent. The Birmingham accent is considered the least attractive accent in the British Isles – and Southern Irish the most appealing A quick analysis of English dialects shows that there are roughly as many in the British Isles as there are in the whole of North America – including Canada, Bermuda and Native American dialects.

'Brummie' is the least attractive accent

The same categorisation would, in North America, result in there being about one dialect per 10m people; in the British Isles there would be one for every 1.3m. Britain is highly peculiar in its linguistic variation, and the cultural contours associated with these differences make a small country feel large. First impressions of unearned features, such as accents, still have an impact on success, in employment, social life and elsewhere. New YouGov research looks at public opinion towards 12 of the main accents of the British Isles, revealing clear winners and losers, at least in terms of what is seen as attractive. Queen's English is Britain's favourite accent.

Received pronunciation named Britain's favourite accent in new surveyThose polled associated it with intelligence, honesty, charm and reliabilityIn second place was the Edinburgh accent, followed by AustralianBut it scored low in humour, with the Geordie accent ranking highestStudy identified 'Cheryl Cole factor' where celebrities shape preconceptions By Daily Mail Reporter Published: 00:47 GMT, 9 October 2014 | Updated: 08:38 GMT, 9 October 2014 Despite it being perceived as posh, the Queen's English has been named Britain's favourite accent It is the unmistakable sound of the Queen and old BBC newsreels.

Queen's English is Britain's favourite accent

And despite being perceived as a little posh, received pronunciation (RP) is still our favourite accent. For a survey has found that the Queen's English is most associated with nine out of ten positive character traits, including attractiveness, intelligence, honesty, charm, sophistication and reliability. Speaking out for regional accents. By BBC News Online's Liz Doig The man in charge of pronunciation for the Oxford English Dictionary is a Brummie.

Speaking out for regional accents

Now there's something for Beryl Bainbridge to get her dipthongs in a twist about. Gently-accented Professor Clive Upton, of Leeds University, says the Liverpool-born novelist's recent comments "fly in the face of common sense". Not content with scooping the WHSmith literary award for her novel Master Georgie, the 64-year-old railed against regional accents as she picked up her £10,000 prize. The relationship between dialect and identity.

BBC Breakfast's Stephanie McGovern: I was seen as too common for telly. She has explained the global economic crisis to an audience of millions, but BBC Breakfast's business presenter Stephanie McGovern has said that colleagues treated her as "too common for telly" because of her Teesside accent.

BBC Breakfast's Stephanie McGovern: I was seen as too common for telly

McGovern complained that she regularly received abuse from viewers about her accent and that one BBC manager told her: "I didn't realise people like you were clever. " Writing in the Radio Times, McGovern said: "Despite being a business journalist at the BBC for 10 years, working behind the scenes on our high-profile news programmes, I was viewed by some in the organisation to be 'too common for telly'. " McGovern has presented financial news on BBC1's morning show for nearly a year and previously was a lead producer on BBC1's main news bulletins and BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Intellectual snobbery about regional accents must surely be in decline. As beauty is in the eye of its beholder, intelligence is in the ear of the listener.

Intellectual snobbery about regional accents must surely be in decline

Or, in the case of the BBC manager who told business reporter Steph McGovern that he didn't realise "people like you" – ie with regional accents – "were clever", stupidity is in the ear of the stupid. Why I wish I'd kept my Welsh accent. According to Alexander Baratta, an English lecturer at Manchester University's school of education, "accentism" – the pressure on people with regional accents to switch to something closer to received pronunciation – is the last taboo.

Why I wish I'd kept my Welsh accent

He likens it to racism, arguing that "people make snap judgments based on accents", and that in an effort to fit in, many of us modify the way we speak, with potentially dire psychological consequences. I know the feeling. I come from south-east Wales – the east is significant. I went to a large comprehensive, and if you had heard me speak at the age of 18 you would have said I had a Welsh accent, though nothing like as strong as those further west or in the Valleys. SchoolBannedDialect. Debate over Teesside dialect and accent continues. A TEESSIDE school's attempt to get its pupils to mind their English language has been given a qualified "thumbs-up" by experts. The Gazette told yesterday how Middlesbrough Sacred Heart Primary had sent a letter home to parents, urging them to pick up on their children’s incorrect use of English - including Teesside-isms - to help their literacy skills. Headteacher Carol Walker says it will help equip pupils with the correct basic linguistic skills for life.

But while the general idea has been applauded, boffins say it’s also crucial to also allow space for the distinctive Teesside dialect to flourish. Dr Peter Stockwell is professor of literary linguistics at Nottingham University. If accents no longer matter, why the sudden rush for elocution lessons? Speaking this week at what sounds like a bastion of received pronunciation – the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, Surrey – Joan Bakewell confided that "someone at the BBC" had said her voice is "too posh" for the channel.

It is not clear what the consequences will be for Bakewell, but I hope I will still hear her fascinatingly overenunciated tones on the radio. As she speaks, I visualise the strenuous contortions of her mouth, recalled from her TV appearances. It is like Not I, that film of a Beckett play featuring a female speaking mouth. It is touching that anyone should go to such lengths to be understood, and I always think she must have tired lips after those interviews in which she, an atheist, politely – but slightly exasperatedly – tries to discover why perfectly intelligent-seeming people can be so silly as to believe in God. Yet the newspapers were also full this week of stories about the return of elocution classes. I hold conflicting views on accents. Is it wrong for a person to change their accent? Quentin Letts, columnist and sketch writer at the Daily Mail Good on David Beckham for poshing up his accent. Since moving to America the footballer has reportedly gone upmarket in the way he speaks.

Linguist: prejudice toward African American dialect can result in unfair rulings. Stanford Report, December 2, 2014 Linguistics professor John R. Radio 4 Word 4 Word - You Don't Want to Speak Like That! BBC Radio 4 - Word of Mouth, Accents Will Happen. BBC Radio 4 - Broadcasting House, 04/01/2015.