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Is anyone else disappointed by declining standards in spoken English in Britain?

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    (Original post by Kolya)
    Such change is labelled as a 'decline' because some people have a vested interest in the continuation of earlier standards. For example f one has a prestige dialect then one's interests are served by defending perceptions of that dialect.
    I frequently lapse into different dialects, partly for fun, partly as a natural consequence of being in the company of others with varying dialects. My appreciation for English spoken properly, and fond desire that it remain spoken properly in certain domains (and the BBC News in particular) relates to the intrinsic value in this e.g. proper anunciation just sounds less grating than skipping letters at the end of words, and for ease of comprehension. If I spoke in RP I wouldn't be arguing that anything less represented a 'decline' anyone should be fussed about, I just think a reasonable bar should be set

    (Original post by Addzter)
    Did you seriously send that to the BBC? :facepalm2: How would you like reporters on the BBC to speak? Are regional accents alright with you? Or is it just the way black people speak that annoys you?
    The accent isn't really the contention, although background/ethnicity are often correlates where proper pronounciation are concerned in society at large, generally the BBC gets it right with the reporters they select regardless of ethnic background e.g. Moira Stuart and Mishal Husain

    (Original post by HJFSS)
    Also the video you linked was perfectly legible and I had no trouble understanding what she was saying.
    Where in the post did I state that I had difficulty understanding what she was saying?.. :rolleyes:

    (Original post by madders94)
    It wouldn't surprise me if, before long, rather than trying to remedy this, the government will bring out educational material in this mish-mash made up language, claiming that it is the evolution of the English language
    This is one thing that concerns me, and the BBC doing as it's doing is only going to increase the probability of such things happening

    (Original post by madders94)
    However I do think you could have picked a better example to complain about
    I just watched that and it struck me, so I thought I'd complain and see if I'm the only student-age person who has an issue with this.. I'm not on a concerted campaign or anything (yet)

    (Original post by madders94)
    the examples you pointed out are more examples of the effect of accent rather than the irritating trend many young people have of cutting out words, making up their own words (WTF is a bredrin?) and so on.
    So you have no problem with letters being cut from the end of words (as described in the OP)?

    (Original post by najinaji)
    More worrying still is the acceptance of the bias against Recieved Pronounciation, to the extent that some politicians take 'coarsening training' to remove the posher elements of their speech
    Please tell me that's a joke :confused:

    (Original post by HarveyCanis)
    And I echo Kolya.
    Echoing a misinformed stance does you little credit mon Scandinavian frère

    (Original post by ROYP)
    What a load of ****e
    Great story. Compelling and rich.

    (Original post by The Lyceum)
    Really ought to be declining standard (note singular) of spoken English etc. (note genitive construction).
    Standards, variable/subject specific. The absolute standard in select regions remains good, but, unfortunately, across most areas relative standards are markedly in decline. Capeesh?

    (Original post by The Lyceum)
    Your usage of the plural and a locative construction is the kind of colloquialism you apparently detest, no?
    I have no problem with the incorporation of neutral colloquial terminology here and there, I would just prefer not to hear my language bastardised/reduced to shorthand modes of speech, problem?

    (Original post by The Lyceum)
    You're not a linguist, you're not the arbiter of the English tongue, you're a pretentious brat.
    At what point did I claim to be either? As for being a pretentious brat, you don’t know me from Adam son and the term relates to minors, whereas I am a 27 year old thanks

    (Original post by The Lyceum)
    Is your life so hollow you have nought else to worry over but how others speak?
    I concern myself with a wide variety of subject matters. I’m not unduly distressed by this particular one I don’t think. Hyperbolism a hobby of yours or do you just get off on attempting to derail threads where someone is making a serious point by engaging in needlessly personal affray?

    (Original post by jayne.corr)
    Exactly. It's interesting how those people who care about such things are also those people who like drawing and maintaining class distinctions.
    Oh dear, we really are stacking up the misinformation today aren't we folks

    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    The sole purpose of language is for communication. As long as communication is happening then the job is done
    On that premise, you're all for for 'txt speak' running along the bottom of the screen on the news then? :borat:

    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    The I can guarantee you that wherever the English language is heading it will not get any worse regardless of how the word "labour" is pronounced
    True, the party is an irrelevance, but that is besides the point

    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    The My accent is slowly becoming more and more northern. Let's hope that doesn't make me a dirty chav
    Language is but one facet of the chav 'culture', speaking with a particular accent or failing to pronounce words properly does not in and of itself make one a chav so I wouldn't worry dear..

    (Original post by supercalifragilist)
    The BBC has for sometime moved away from RP
    Further misrepresentation of my views, who is arguing for RP?

    So, so far in the ‘against’ camp we’ve had:

    • Misinformation

    • Duplicate misinformation

    • Misrepresentation (associating my line with what amounts to racism, and with RP)

    • Mindless swearing

    • Personal attacks

    • An absolutely functionalist position (at least she was relatively respectful)

    • A response that deals with the practical aspect of being unable to stop this malevolent trend

    Top effort guys :awesome:
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    Accents are fine, but people really need to improve their spelling, syntax and vocabulary. Hitchens' "Arguably" should be mandatory reading in schools.
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    the degeneration of language is a symptom of the degeneration of society -- its happening in the arts. in architecture. in manners. in moral principles. in conventional discourse. in education.

    society seems to be deconstructing itself on all levels.

    as the society and language deconstructs, so follows thoughts. and as thoughts lessen, so does consciousness lessen.

    looking to the gutter is anti life. life looks up. life wants to grow. it wants to improve. the deconstructing of language is just one ominous sign of many of where this society is heading.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Great story. Compelling and rich.
    What a cool guy you are
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    Op, how do you pronounce labour and ever? Im not sure I've ever head them pronounced with anything other than a schwa in non rhotic accents, which I presume yours is.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    I just watched that and it struck me, so I thought I'd complain and see if I'm the only student-age person who has an issue with this.. I'm not on a concerted campaign or anything (yet)

    So you have no problem with letters being cut from the end of words (as described in the OP)?
    I don't like it but with some accents it is and always has been a feature of that accent - that's not a sign of the falling standard of the English language, but rather a feature of that accent. When it is purposeful which seems to be the case with most "Jafakean" accents, that's when it really irritates me because it's forced.
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    Language standards change over time.

    Such change is labelled as a 'decline' because some people have a vested interest in the continuation of earlier standards. For example f one has a prestige dialect then one's interests are served by defending perceptions of that dialect.
    Whilst this is true, RP itself evolves. Different generations of the Royal family don't speak alike. So attempting to uphold a standard in broadcasting by restricting newsreaders to RP, for example, would not be so futile.

    Your argument would pertain to the very fact that RP changes, which isn't quite what the OP is getting at, though whether or not he realises that I'm not sure.
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    (Original post by natchina)
    the degeneration of language is a symptom of the degeneration of society -- its happening in the arts. in architecture. in manners. in moral principles. in conventional discourse. in education.

    society seems to be deconstructing itself on all levels.

    as the society and language deconstructs, so follows thoughts. and as thoughts lessen, so does consciousness lessen.

    looking to the gutter is anti life. life looks up. life wants to grow. it wants to improve. the deconstructing of language is just one ominous sign of many of where this society is heading.
    How are you distinguishing between degeneration and change?
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    this is just pretence- just because somebody has missed the "t" in a word, does it really merit a letter to the BBC? i agree that the language is finding some odd and grammatically incorrect phrases, but this woman is speaking in standard english. I, looked down at by speakers of the southern accents as a "scouser" hear no problem in her accent, it's pretty easy to understand. Some of the most educated people about (Mandela, Prof. Cox, etc.) have strong, non RP accents. if they started talking to you, would you stop them and tell them not to continue talking because you do not agree with whereabout the emphasis is placed on certain words in their spoken language? i presume you're from the south, because the majority of us can't tell the difference.
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    I wouldn't see a problem with restricting newsreading jobs to prestige dialects. Not necessarily just RP, but prestige dialects for certain regions. But there is a disconnect between the changes on the BBC News and the changes in the country as a whole. The latter has always occurred.
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    I don't see the problem. I would encourage young children to watch RastaMouse (also on the bbc) because it is jokes!
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    Please tell me that's a joke
    Unfortunately, it isn't. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ound-posh.html

    (Original post by blu tack)
    Op, how do you pronounce labour and ever? Im not sure I've ever head them pronounced with anything other than a schwa in non rhotic accents, which I presume yours is.
    I'm not the OP, but personally: 'lay-ber' and 'eh-ver'
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    nope, language changes, as long as it's understandable then fine... i mean we speak completely differently to how they spoke 100 years ago, 200 years ago, 1000 years ago etc.

    language changes and develops and i think most speak it well.


    also don't see what's so wrong with the lady in the BBC news people have different accents.
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    Its a well known fact that England has a wide range of accents, and thats great.

    Im from the North West and I'm regularly told I sound common. Some people think my accent is really cool, some people say it makes me sound really stupid. So what?

    Its time people accepted that people from different areas of the country will have different accents/dialect and not everyone speaks the Queen's English.
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    (Original post by blu tack)
    Op, how do you pronounce labour and ever?
    As a regular BBC news anchor of the past half century would..

    (Original post by TurboCretin)
    Your argument would pertain to the very fact that RP changes, which isn't quite what the OP is getting at, though whether or not he realises that I'm not sure.
    Aye, the gradual evolution of RP is not what concerns me

    (Original post by louistoffee)
    Some of the most educated people about (Mandela, Prof. Cox, etc.) have strong, non RP accents. if they started talking to you, would you stop them
    These chaps aren't employed as reporters/presenters on the national BBC news; your comment is tangential

    (Original post by louistoffee)
    I presume you're from the south, because the majority of us can't tell the difference.
    My family are from the North, I was raised in the South. I speak in a mixed dialect myself but am generally considered 'well spoken'

    (Original post by TurboCretin)
    I wouldn't see a problem with restricting newsreading jobs to prestige dialects. Not necessarily just RP, but prestige dialects for certain regions. But there is a disconnect between the changes on the BBC News and the changes in the country as a whole. The latter has always occurred.
    That is not in contention. My concern is that if the BBC tries to mirror/mimick every such change in broader society we're then locked into an even more precipitous downward spiral, as one or two other posters have described/insinuated.. I don't wish to see a rush to the bottom but that's what society in the UK is fast becoming

    (Original post by g_star_raw_1989)
    I don't see the problem. I would encourage young children to watch RastaMouse (also on the bbc) because it is jokes!
    Don't even get me started on Rastamouse

    I believe the appropriate phrase is: epic facepalm. This country has totally lost the plot

    (Original post by Bellissima)
    also don't see what's so wrong with the lady in the BBC news people have different accents.
    Did you miss the words I highlighted specifically or do you genuinely believe it's an acceptable standard to be presenting those words in that manner on the BBC national news?
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)

    Did you miss the words I highlighted specifically or do you genuinely believe it's an acceptable standard to be presenting those words in that manner?
    yes it's easy to understand.. i don't see the problem.. people have different accents and pronounce things in different ways.
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    (Original post by Foo.mp3)
    As a regular BBC news anchor of the past half century would..
    do you have a video/recording example of that? Or could you render it in IPA? I disagree strongly with your opinion, but cba to argue it. This point intrigues me though; as far as I can think pretty much everyone I know pronounces labour and ever like the lady in the video.
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    (Original post by Bellissima)
    yes it's easy to understand.. i don't see the problem.. people have different accents and pronounce things in different ways.
    Once again, my contention is not necessarily with ease of comprehension..

    Wud yoo be happy den if dey went da whole hog an started talkin like dis on da BBC?

    It's in entirely the same vein, and still perfectly discernible, but I would ****ing hope not
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    (Original post by najinaji)
    Unfortunately, it isn't. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ound-posh.html


    I'm not the OP, but personally: 'lay-ber' and 'eh-ver'
    Is that any different to how the woman in the video pronounces it?
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    (Original post by blu tack)
    Is that any different to how the woman in the video pronounces it?
    Aye, if you listen she uses txt speak-esque style shortenings/lazy pronounciation e.g. eva instead of ever, and la·ba instead of la·bour

    Most of what she says she pronounces properly, it's a case of slacking off on some words - I don't think BBC news reporters should be paid to slack off with their speech personally..

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