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gumdrops
29-08-2011, 06:38 PM
accents which rub you the wrong way basically. i went to see an exhibition the other week, got the date wrong, so it wasnt even ON yet, but the woman at the desk was one of these aggressively posh early 20s girls with one of those ultra cut-glass accents that i happen to like in drama (and some sexual daydreams), hate in real life (also doesnt help that early 20s ppl, women in particular these days, it would seem, obv carry the arrogance of youth like all men in east london now seem to carry those stupid fucking handbags, so couple this with the arrogance of class, affected or not, and well, thats a lot of arrogance for one person to carry, never mind inflict on others). this might make me a classist or something, i dont really care. its the accent to have if you want to be the most patronising, condescending, up your own arse cunt in the world imho. apologies to anyone who has an accent like this here. maybe you all do, i dont know, im sure youre all lovely.

Mr. Tea
29-08-2011, 07:15 PM
I've got what I consider to be a very generic, neutral, Southern, middle-class accent. I certainly don't think I sound "posh" - well, maybe I sound posh compared to Katie Price or Dappy from N-Dubz, but then so do most people. But a few months ago this guy who I think was from Northern Ireland decided I must be third in line for the throne or something and spent a good hour or so grossly and unprovokely insulting me to my face for no reason whatsoever. It happened to be my last day at my old job and I was in the pub with a load of my now ex-colleagues, most of whom I got on with pretty well - this guy worked on a different floor from me and I hadn't even met him before. I saw him again afterwards as I got on the train and told him in no uncertain terms that I thought he was obnoxious cunt.

My girlfriend has a pretty similar accent to mine but when she's reading poetry out loud (she's studying it for her PhD, so it's allowed) she goes all Radio 4, it's most amusing.

gumdrops
29-08-2011, 07:27 PM
it's most amusing.

as i read this i heard a very radio 4 accent in my head. (sorry, couldnt resist lol)

my accent is/can be a bit of a mess. im trying to find some netural common ground which i can use to make it all cohere but im still working on it. my last gf always made (crap) jokes about me sounding very essex, which i didnt quite understand as there are people who talk a LOT more essex/east london than me, but i chalk it up to her just knowing fuck all about people outside her own little bubble. when we split i told her to find someone more 'proper' but she didnt get what i meant.

my first post conflates being condescending with a certain accent, which is maybe a bit unfair. but its almost as if in order to carry off that accent well, the tone has to come with it.

grizzleb
29-08-2011, 07:43 PM
If I encounter RP in the real world (which has only happened a couple of times) it makes me feel serious cognitive dissonance, it's like meeting someone from a separate frame of existence, one that only exists only the bbc circa half a century ago. They don't seem like real people.

I've had to modify my accent since coming down south so that people understand me, but I like that nobody can tell anything about me here from my accent other than that I'm Scottish.

crackerjack
29-08-2011, 08:20 PM
I've had to modify my accent since coming down south so that people understand me, but I like that nobody can tell anything about me here from my accent other than that I'm Scottish.

Where are you from in Scotland? The difference between Edinburgh and Glasgow accent seems as clear to me as the difference between, say, Newcastle and Leeds. Generally, if I can work out what the fuck you're on about, you're not from Glasgow :D

IdleRich
29-08-2011, 08:41 PM
I hate to admit that my accent does vary depending on whom I'm talking to, not on purpose but I notice it.

Ulala
29-08-2011, 09:00 PM
I'm from Suffolk, though my parents are not, so I never developed an accent per se - like Mr Tea, I'd consider mine to just be a generic southern accent. (You know - 'grarse', 'barth' - elongated vowels and, I suppose, leaning more towards RP than not.) The Suffolk accent is incredible, though, it can be almost impenetrable when speaking to 5th or 6th generation Suf-folks. There's all manner of curious dialect, too, which I've never encountered elsewhere (vastly different from, say, Norfolk and Essex, which are both right next door.) "Mahn't no" for "must not", things like that. I like it, though it doesn't confer an air of intelligence on the speaker.

Subconsciously or otherwise, people definitely favour certain accents over others. Loads of call centres use Scots or Geordies because these are, supposedly, soothing, trustworthy voices. (I can't find a link to back this up, but I'm certain I've heard this espoused before - QI, perhaps?) By contrast, you rarely hear Brummie voices anywhere, in the media, advertising, radio, whatever. Does that constitute accent-ism? I suppose it does, but then I'm pretty sure accents are tied up in other regional prejudices so I don't know if it's a demonstrable phenomenon in itself.

Looking at your original post, gumdrops, I'd rather in some ways that people who had had the benefits of an expensive education did stick to their guns and keep the plumminess in their voices - far worse for me is when they try to 'estuarise' their accent and vocabulary in order to disguise their privileged upbringing. Keep it real, you fuckers, even if that does mean being hoity-toity. I've been to clubs where there are various fucking Henriettas and Arabellas and sundry other double-barrels loudly exclaiming, "Oh my gohhhd, this is so sick, isn't it, girls?" whilst taking pictures of each other to put on Facebook. I silently fume and 'accidentally' tread on their feet in my grubby trainers. I've no problem with the adoption of slang, but it should be the slang of your social group, not another's - there are some words that just don't suit certain accents.

gumdrops
29-08-2011, 09:23 PM
there are some words that just don't suit certain accents.

dahhhhhhhhhhhhhhling, you are just SO peng! (actually that prob sounds alright)

what about ppl that move 'up' the accent ladder then? should they have to keep it real also? cos thats a tricky one. i know some ppl who obv didnt grow up speaking RP but have started doing it since starting work and becoming more professional etc. i dont personally knock it, and if youre say, a teacher, you really should speak 'properly' i think. but there are some where it sounds like a bit of a strain. not try hard, but you can tell some work has gone into cleaning their voices up.

Leo
29-08-2011, 10:59 PM
just as an FYI...if any of you come to america, you'll be able to score with members of the opposite sex (or same sex, if that's yr thing) like no tomorrow. american guys and gals melt at the sound of a british accent, makes no difference to them if it's posh or cockney (they don't know/care about the differences, just makes you sound so clever and cool.) trust me. i fell for it and married a brit. :)

baboon2004
29-08-2011, 11:56 PM
right that's it. i was trying to decide what to do tomorrow, and now i realise i'm moving to america.

you
30-08-2011, 12:00 AM
I've been told I go all brummie when I'm really cross at work, otherwise I don't know what my accent is, I know I say Grarrsss and GrAs all the time depending on the sentence..... I know people sometime exaggerate their accent on purpose to exclude/include people - you see it all the time, not just plummy yah yah yah stuff but scousers (SP?), mancand the like all do it too...

slowtrain
30-08-2011, 03:08 AM
Wow.

I always knew accent was a big thing in the UK, but I didn't know it was that specific.

In NZ there are definitely different accents, but a lot of people (I dunno, English parents or something?) seem to have that sort of 'accent-less-ness'. You got the more nasal 'noo zild' accents down south more, in more rural areas.

My accent is kind of drawn out and nasal I suppose, but (I dunno, southerner Mum and Grandparents?) I think its still pretty well-defined. It's definitely not one of the TV One news anchor abominations.


Aside: we always have to have subtitles for Scottish films.

gumdrops
30-08-2011, 10:41 AM
ok so how do you say scone? (supposedly this is a good test)

is it SCOAN (like sloane, although you can say this in a very posh RP way AND a london-y cockney way too)

or is it SCON?

the other test is 'garage' but i think people say that in all sorts of ways now so im not sure if you can still tell much about someone and how they say 'garaaaaaaaj', 'garaj' or 'garridge'.

STN
30-08-2011, 12:52 PM
'garij'

but with 'scone' I just say whatever the person I'm talking to says, anything for a quiet life...

IdleRich
30-08-2011, 01:15 PM
"ok so how do you say scone? (supposedly this is a good test)
is it SCOAN (like sloane, although you can say this in a very posh RP way AND a london-y cockney way too)
or is it SCON?"
I've literally never known how to pronounce this word. I just think it's up to you - I don't think that anyone actually says it consistently, I certainly don't, I can't remember how I said it the last time I said it, which wasn't long ago I'm sure because I ate one the other day. Think I'm a garaj kind of guy - though how does that differ from garridge? Definitely not a garaaaj person anyway.
My accent is a bit strange in general in that it's generic southern but I say bath not barth and grass not grarse purely because my Dad is a manc I guess - I didn't pick up an accent as such but when I learned the words I copied the exact sounds he said so got the pronunciation without the accent.

bandshell
30-08-2011, 01:50 PM
I'm not sure what my accent's like. I presume it's quite Yorkshire. Apparently, I slur my speech a fair bit.

I say 'garij' and 'scon'.

baboon2004
30-08-2011, 02:13 PM
ok so how do you say scone? (supposedly this is a good test)

is it SCOAN (like sloane, although you can say this in a very posh RP way AND a london-y cockney way too)

or is it SCON?

the other test is 'garage' but i think people say that in all sorts of ways now so im not sure if you can still tell much about someone and how they say 'garaaaaaaaj', 'garaj' or 'garridge'.

my poshness test is simple. if you're under 45 and say 'supper'.

IdleRich
30-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Also "super" I'd imagine.

Mr. Tea
30-08-2011, 10:27 PM
I say 'sconn', I think 'scoan' sounds ridiculously affected and lah-di-dah. But 'garage' depends on the meaning of the word: a GAH-razh is a little house for your car, or where you take your car to get it fixed; GAH-ridge is the music you used to hear blasting out of a small car with tinted windows and a huge stereo about ten years ago.

gah-RAZH is strictly for Americans only.

mistersloane
31-08-2011, 12:06 AM
ok so how do you say scone? (supposedly this is a good test)

is it SCOAN (like sloane, although you can say this in a very posh RP way AND a london-y cockney way too)

or is it SCON?

the other test is 'garage' but i think people say that in all sorts of ways now so im not sure if you can still tell much about someone and how they say 'garaaaaaaaj', 'garaj' or 'garridge'.

It's sloane as in 'pwned' except in very rough sex, when it's 'slon! slon! slohhhhn!'.

slowtrain
31-08-2011, 05:11 AM
I cannot say the word 'garage' without thinking of the Simpsons where Moe calls Homer out for pronouncing it 'garaaaj' and being very fancy; when he is asked how he pronounces it says 'car-hole'.

So I pronounce it 'car-hole'

gumdrops
31-08-2011, 09:40 AM
actually ive been doing the scone test to myself and forgotten which is meant to imply what. i cant tell anymore. you can say both and sound RP or otherwise.

lol@'super!'

craner
31-08-2011, 10:18 AM
I am tone-deaf with accents, with one understandable exception. I can hardly tell regional American accents apart, except for almost caricatured New York or Texan. When I was in Leeds, I was awash in indistinguishable Northern noises.

On the South Wales Seaboard/Heads of the Valleys region, however, I have an exact, almost refined, ear. I can tell Carmarthen from Llanelli, Neath from Swansea, Maesteg from Caerphilly; I could tell you whether you came from Cowbridge or Bridgend (which would also be a class distinction, in all probability). The inner city Cardiff accent (Butetown, say, or Splott or Grangetown) is so thick and unique it doesn't even sound like a Welsh accent, more like a metallic Merseyside ping. Alex Jones, of the One Show, has about the strongest Ammanford accent possible.

I wonder if regional accents can still be detected by the mile in the South East, or whether Reality TV Estuary Vowels drowned them all out.

craner
31-08-2011, 10:20 AM
Also "super" I'd imagine.

I do this.

Slothrop
31-08-2011, 10:43 AM
I've got a friend who actually uses 'bother' as an exclamation when he's annoyed.

craner
31-08-2011, 10:44 AM
Well, I don't do that. My cousin does, though.

baboon2004
31-08-2011, 01:09 PM
I was awash in indistinguishable Northern noises.


First line for a novel. No doubt.

zhao
31-08-2011, 02:54 PM
any theories on how it came to be that the british BBC accent came to signify intelligence and sophistication in America?

was it because the first waves of British immigrants to the US were wealthy maybe? as opposed to the working class and poor which came from Italy and Poland?

slowtrain
01-09-2011, 01:01 AM
I've always thought of posh accents being more a matter of using words like 'shall' and 'one' and saying 'should have' instead of 'should of'

Mr. Tea
01-09-2011, 01:04 AM
and saying 'should have' instead of 'should of'

Oh come on, there's no excuse for "should of"!

(sorry, I have slight grammar-Nazi tendencies...)

zhao
01-09-2011, 02:09 AM
any theories on how it came to be that the british BBC accent came to signify intelligence and sophistication in America?

was it because the first waves of British immigrants to the US were wealthy maybe? as opposed to the working class and poor which came from Italy and Poland?

actually of course the answer is a lot bigger, more complex, and boring than that. (something to do with imperialist empire i guess)

luka
01-09-2011, 07:37 AM
every englishman should have a range of accents available to him. they open different doors. why would anyone limit themselves to a single manner of speaking just to satisfy some desire for authenticity. i couldnt tell you what my 'real' accent is if i wanted to. you adapt. as a child my father had a generic southern accent, my mother is a kiwi and nusery and infant school had kids from all over place speaking in a variety of ways though almost all with at least a nod to the indigineous cockney norms. years spent in aus and nz have altered my speech rhythms as much as the way words actually sound. cadences become more passive and lesuirely.

luka
01-09-2011, 07:43 AM
i like the sound of scottish women talking. west indians. brummies i like a lot. its warm. it maks you feel safe. a proper lilting welsh one, thats nice. an Antoine de Caunes style comedy french one is great. the south african accent grates.

IdleRich
01-09-2011, 07:50 AM
I've always thought of posh accents being more a matter of using words like 'shall' and 'one' and saying 'should have' instead of 'should of'
Well, the difference between shall and will is really quite complicated and the distinction is almost dying out and pretty much known only by the most strictly educated of the previous generation - but saying "should of" is just meaningless. You don't need to be posh to know what a verb is or isn't.


"any theories on how it came to be that the british BBC accent came to signify intelligence and sophistication in America?"
I always assumed that, in a young country, an English accent came to be associated with old money which is always better than new money except when you need to spend it. I'm guessing you actually mean English here?

Mr. Tea
01-09-2011, 10:12 AM
but saying "should of" is just meaningless. You don't need to be posh to know what a verb is or isn't.

Indeed.

(However you may run the risk of sounding like a posh twat if you use 'indeed' as an interjection. Um...)


I always assumed that, in a young country, an English accent came to be associated with old money which is always better than new money except when you need to spend it. I'm guessing you actually mean English here?

I think when you hear a real old-money New England accent is often does sound very English. Clearly the members of the ruling class in England would have become the ruling class when they went over to administrate the Colonies in the 17th century, so it's no surprise that English accents, and particularly 'posh' ones (e.g. BBC RP) are still associated in the US with 'breeding', being 'educated' and the elite in general. But then a lot of Americans (to judge from TV shows) are unaware that not everyone in Britain sounds like either Brian Sewell or a Dick van Dyke-style 'cockerney'.

Edit: actually this was quite nicely sent up on an episode of Frasier where Daphne meets this American guy who says "Oh, you're English!", she replies "Manchester" and he says "Damn, I'm usually pretty good with accents" - the implication being that he must think she meant Manchester, Pennsylvania or something, I guess.

grizzleb
01-09-2011, 12:22 PM
I don't get what's meaningless about using a couple of words in a given sequence which are simply taken to mean something. Fair enough, speak the language in a way you prefer, but it's not as if 'should uv' (which I think is a more accurate description of what people are actually saying here) literally doesn't mean anything, if people know what it means, if you get what I mean... :confused:

Mr. Tea
01-09-2011, 12:44 PM
Well yeah, "should've" (short for "should HAVE") is fine, it's what I usually say, but you sometimes here* (and read) what is unambiguously "should OF" - as Rich says, it's not to do with being "posh" or not, it's just wrong.

Anyway, accents on TV are a funny thing. There's a definite "regional accent code":

Scottish: nothing implies good, Protestant honesty and trustworthiness like a nice well-spoken Scottish accent (I'm guessing it's generally a middle-class Edinburgh accent? sounds like the Scottish equivalent of RP, basically). It's especially handy on adverts for things that are good for your body or, better still, your soul - for heartstring-tugging earnestness, you can't beat a really serious, sober Scottish accent for the v/o for your charity ad featuring abused donkeys or malnourished African children.

Northern: Yorkshire/Northumbria accents (Scouse and Manc, not so much) are de rigeur if you want to imply friendly, salt-of-the-earth matiness. Channel 4 worked this out about ten years ago and have exclusively employed Geordies as their anouncers ever since (all the better to distinguish the channel from the stuffy old BBC, of course). This approach can be taken to a patronising extreme, as in for example Victoria Wood's nauseating "Ooh crikey, Grommit!" Yorkshire brogue used on the Asda ads recently.

Cockney/Essex: Is your advert intended to appeal to BLOKES and LADS???? Then this is the accent for you!

West Country: can be used to impart the flavour of orl fings aaagriculch'ral; very often put on ("Mummerset") and generally played for laughs.

Brummie/Midlands: rarely heard, but, like West Country, generally seen as a 'comedy' accent.

Irish: WELL BEGORRAH, IF OI'M NAT THE MOST LOIKABLE ACCENT IN DA WHOLE WOIDE WORLD! Used to generally excruciating effect to imply, like Scottish and Northern accents, friendliness, honesty etc. etc., though often with an added 'comedy' element. Often works best if spoken very rapidly in a high-pitched, excitable manner.

Joanna Lumley: car insurance.

*christ, I really am a spastic sometimes

IdleRich
01-09-2011, 12:53 PM
"I don't get what's meaningless about using a couple of words in a given sequence which are simply taken to mean something. Fair enough, speak the language in a way you prefer, but it's not as if 'should uv' (which I think is a more accurate description of what people are actually saying here) literally doesn't mean anything, if people know what it means, if you get what I mean..."
Should've is fine because it's short for "should have" but I thought that you were saying it was some kind of anti-posh thing to write or clearly enunciate "should of" which is meaningless - how can you "of" something? I guess what I'm saying is that there is no accent or way of speaking that changes "should've" to "should of" although it sounds as though there is - does that make sense?


"it's what I usually say, but you sometimes here and (read)"
Surely "hear" tee hee. Ironically this is one of the times where it would be better to use "one" I think because it sounds as though you are saying Grizzleb sometimes sees and hears that when you actually mean that people in general do.

Slothrop
01-09-2011, 12:53 PM
Nottingham's an accent that's yet to penetrate the mass media. I don't think most people would be able to place it if they heard it.

IdleRich
01-09-2011, 12:58 PM
"Brummie/Midlands: rarely heard, but, like West Country, generally seen as a 'comedy' accent."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zOaiaV3ZHw

gumdrops
01-09-2011, 12:59 PM
its all been downhill since they let just any old accent get heard on tv....

Mr. Tea
01-09-2011, 01:02 PM
Ironically this is one of the times where it would be better to use "one" I think because it sounds as though you are saying Grizzleb sometimes sees and hears that when you actually mean that people in general do.

Well yeah, but using "one" as a pronoun is the most glaring shibboleth of poshness in the whole language - which is annoying, because it's actually really useful.

IdleRich
01-09-2011, 01:21 PM
"Well yeah, but using "one" as a pronoun is the most glaring shibboleth of poshness in the whole language - which is annoying, because it's actually really useful."
Wouldn't that be something that the posh can't/don't say? I suppose a shibboleth loosely means a give-away (right?) but wasn't it a give-away because people from the one tribe were unable to pronounce it (and were duly slaughtered)? Nice example of an accent mattering quite a lot anyway.

Mr. Tea
01-09-2011, 02:19 PM
Hmm, that may be how the word originated but I think it's used these days to mean a word or usage that either excludes or includes someone from a certain group - as it did in the original case to mark someone as being an Ephraimite (who couldn't pronounce it) or a Gileadite (who could). [Thanks Wiktionary!]

you
01-09-2011, 02:35 PM
Well yeah, "should've" (short for "should HAVE") is fine, it's what I usually say, but you sometimes here* (and read) what is unambiguously "should OF" - as Rich says, it's not to do with being "posh" or not, it's just wrong.

Anyway, accents on TV are a funny thing. There's a definite "regional accent code":

Scottish: nothing implies good, Protestant honesty and trustworthiness like a nice well-spoken Scottish accent (I'm guessing it's generally a middle-class Edinburgh accent? sounds like the Scottish equivalent of RP, basically). It's especially handy on adverts for things that are good for your body or, better still, your soul - for heartstring-tugging earnestness, you can't beat a really serious, sober Scottish accent for the v/o for your charity ad featuring abused donkeys or malnourished African children.

Northern: Yorkshire/Northumbria accents (Scouse and Manc, not so much) are de rigeur if you want to imply friendly, salt-of-the-earth matiness. Channel 4 worked this out about ten years ago and have exclusively employed Geordies as their anouncers ever since (all the better to distinguish the channel from the stuffy old BBC, of course). This approach can be taken to a patronising extreme, as in for example Victoria Wood's nauseating "Ooh crikey, Grommit!" Yorkshire brogue used on the Asda ads recently.

Cockney/Essex: Is your advert intended to appeal to BLOKES and LADS???? Then this is the accent for you!

West Country: can be used to impart the flavour of orl fings aaagriculch'ral; very often put on ("Mummerset") and generally played for laughs.

Brummie/Midlands: rarely heard, but, like West Country, generally seen as a 'comedy' accent.

Irish: WELL BEGORRAH, IF OI'M NAT THE MOST LOIKABLE ACCENT IN DA WHOLE WOIDE WORLD! Used to generally excruciating effect to imply, like Scottish and Northern accents, friendliness, honesty etc. etc., though often with an added 'comedy' element. Often works best if spoken very rapidly in a high-pitched, excitable manner.

Joanna Lumley: car insurance.

*christ, I really am a spastic sometimes

get back to writing charlie brooker's scripts tea..

edit - I actually dislike most strong accents, I heard two guys at Sonning Lock yesterday. I smiled at the preposterous accent mimicry gwan-on. Yah this and yah that, deepening their voices with such effort, hiding their square stubbly chins in the chasm of their bodened chests, almost like they had both had a few pints and were constantly trying to swallow a belch or squash a burp back down into themselves. I also loath the geordie accent, that high pitched bespectacled bird from panel shows and radio 4, with a whole career based on self depreciating quips ugh.... Sarah Millican - her accent cuts through me.

crackerjack
01-09-2011, 08:26 PM
Irish: WELL BEGORRAH, IF OI'M NAT THE MOST LOIKABLE ACCENT IN DA WHOLE WOIDE WORLD! Used to generally excruciating effect to imply, like Scottish and Northern accents, friendliness, honesty etc. etc., though often with an added 'comedy' element. Often works best if spoken very rapidly in a high-pitched, excitable manner.


Unless on a female, where it's used exclusively to make men cum. Or is that just me?

Mr. Tea
01-09-2011, 08:44 PM
Unless on a female, where it's used exclusively to make men cum. Or is that just me?

Haha, this is such a common fetish, isn't it? They can sound nice, for sure, but I don't go mad for them. Now Russian, on the other hand...