What are you good at?

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I came up with some drug addled theory about ruling class accents denoting some kind physical advantage at one point. I think it was to do with good sinuses and breathing apparatus. I wouldn't want to put it up for peer review though.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I came up with some drug addled theory about ruling class accents denoting some kind physical advantage at one point. I think it was to do with good sinuses and breathing apparatus. I wouldn't want to put it up for peer review though.
Not a totally daft idea when you consider that for a good couple of hundred years your average prole lived in a filthy, soot-caked industrial area of a city and probably had bronchitis by the time they were about six.

Not that our cities have amazing air quality even today but obviously it's a lot better than it was 100 years ago, or even 60 years ago when you consider that "pea soupers" still used to happen in London back then.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
i used to be very good at climbing ropes and high jump, which is weird cos i'm really small. i jumped higher than anyone else in my class and it felt as if i'd float in the air for minutes. also one time there was a rumor going around my town that you could win a free nokia if you'd get a really really high score playing "snake" (that little game pre-installed on nokia's) and then i'd spend days trying until i managed to have such a long snake that it was impossible to have it grow longer. i'd zigzag from top to bottom until the head touched the tale. i don't think anyone ever achieved that. at least not that i heard of.
Good work bringing the thread back on topic.

I was never that great at sports at school, which is daft because I "ought" to have been (I'm tall and have broad shoulders and got through childhood and puberty without ever having a fat phase) but I am - still - very good at climbing trees, and in fact will do so given any opportunity.

Also I have an old mate from uni who managed to get about that good at the snake game, I think.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Not a totally daft idea when you consider that for a good couple of hundred years your average prole lived in a filthy, soot-caked industrial area of a city and probably had bronchitis by the time they were about six.

Not that our cities have amazing air quality even today but obviously it's a lot better than it was 100 years ago, or even 60 years ago when you consider that "pea soupers" still used to happen in London back then.
That too although I think I originally took it as an indicator of good breeding. The way you might inspect a dog. There's a Wyndham Lewis story in The Wild Body which was to blame for this train of thought. I got stuck on dogs and breeding and the British for a while.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Yeah that is an interesting question, why is that particular accent considered posh?

"RP is often believed to be based on the accents of southern England, but it actually has most in common with the Early Modern English dialects of the East Midlands.[7] This was the most populated and most prosperous area of England during the 14th and 15th centuries. By the end of the 15th century, "Standard English" was established in the City of London."
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
That book Craner was reading on the train when a yobbo smashed his glasses and called him a reading swot talks about this. 1000 years of non linear history.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
How a concatenation of dialects and accents is standardised in the service of nation building. How a powerful group imposes their own particular idiosyncrasies as the exemplar.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
A friend of mine who teaches linguistics told me that Chaucer probably sounded a bit like a modern (to be vague) American. And that the American accent (sorry to be vague) is closer to how middle english sounded than the modern English accent.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
That too although I think I originally took it as an indicator of good breeding. The way you might inspect a dog. There's a Wyndham Lewis story in The Wild Body which was to blame for this train of thought. I got stuck on dogs and breeding and the British for a while.
Hmm, "good breeding" taken to an extreme is actually pretty terrible breeding, because it often involves reproducing with close relatives. Not a great idea at all. But we're talking actual toffs and royals here, as opposed to the upper-middle class.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
A friend of mine who teaches linguistics told me that Chaucer probably sounded a bit like a modern (to be vague) American. And that the American accent (sorry to be vague) is closer to how middle english sounded than the modern English accent.
Yeah, I've heard this before. The idea that some pronunciations changed in British English but were preserved in the USA. And the idea that "gotten" is an Americanism when it used to be standard English.

I think it's crazy how far the Aussie and Kiwi accents have diverged from British English in such a short time. I guess you can hear a lot of Cockney in Australia accents but the accent in NZ sounds almost like a cross between Aussie and South African.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
London accents have changed massively in my life time and when I listen to the Brooklyn drill stuff it makes me think New York accents have been mutating too
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I guess with globalisation in full swing (until COVID, at least) we should expect accents to change at a faster rate than they ever did before.

OTOH, with everyone occupying the same cyberspace, perhaps there's less scope for regional eccentricity?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
television was considered to homogenise accents. im not sure the internet will have the same effect necessarily.
 
television was considered to homogenise accents. im not sure the internet will have the same effect necessarily.
It does. it is happening. how could it not? more of a noticeable change in use of phrases and template craic than pronunciation like British people say y'all and ass now because of the internet
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
yeah you lot have gone on and on about that. but thats typing not speech.
 
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