Brtish Social class accents
1. Do you think social class accents are still important today and why?
Yes, I believe that people stereotype certain accents. For instance, not long ago, a lady lost her job at BBC World for speaking with an RP accent. She was told that she sounded "out of touch" and that people wanted a more friendly feel. There are other cases where people aren't accepted for jobs because of their accent.
2. In what parts of life are they still important? Which parts of life are especially influenced by your social class accent? work, university...
Accents are important in all aspects of life. If someone speaks RP for instance in prison, they're hardly going to be the most popular inmate. A lot of the lower-classes don't pay any attention to verbal precision and speak with an Estuary English accent - i.e. they drop the H from the begining of words, they miss out the L and they avoid pronouncing the T in the middle of words.
3. Received pronunciation, Queen's English, Oxford English, Posh English -Do you think these are different terms for the same accent, or do you think they are different accents?
I think they refer to different types of RP. The Queen sounds very upper-class and talks how some would say "with a plum in her mouth". A BBC Newsreader however speaks RP, but without the plum. There are also some RP accents, which sound somewhat Estuary English - CBBC presents for example.
4. RP: your comments about RP
I like RP. I think it sounds nice, precise and intelligent. It's understood and liked by people all over the world, and by people with other accents.
5. Oxford English: your comments about Oxford English
This is what I call a snotty accent and something I associate with rich, spoilt, daddy's kids.
6. Queen's English: if you have some comments
Nice, but out-dated.
7. Posh English: here you can make some comments about posh English
I've never heard of "Posh" English before. Is there really such a thing as posh?
8. Estuary English: room for your comments
I think of this accent as lazy English - people who originally spoke ok and deliberately derogatised their accent to "blend in".
9. Slang: your comments typical slang expressions:
I think of slang as an evolution of language. You can't fight it, so it's best to accept it. Many words we know today have come from slang - i.e. pram, fridge, mobile, TV and microwave. Some slang words have even been coined -i.e pommie and yank.
10. Some people say the Queen's accent has changed over the years. -Do you think this is a good or a bad thing? Have you noticed a change in her accent?
Yeah, I sit and listen to it for hours, noting any change in the intonation. I think it's enivetable that her accent has and will continue to change. Living in central London for instance, surrounded by Cockney speakers must influence her somehow. Also, the Queen watches EastEnders and that must be highly influential on the way she speaks - unless they edit the programme especially for her.
11. Here you can name some poeple who are typical RP, Queen's English, Oxford English, posh English, Estuary speakers...
The Queen, James Bond, d, Peter Scissons, Trevor McDonald, Tony Blair, Terry Wogan, Most BBC presenters and Ken Barlow, which is interesting, seeing as he lives in Manchester.
12. Do you think there is a tendancy for upper class people/ people who are very well-educated to hide their posh accent and to speak less posh?
Yes, and I think this has been happening since the '80s. Any kid who goes out and speaks like James Bond will come home with 2 black eyes, a fat lip and a broken arm.
13. What is your general opinion about social class accents?
-Do think they should stay or do you think they should be abolished?
It's impossible to abolish an accent. Annoying or not, they're here to stay.
14. What kind of social class accent do you have yourself?
I'd like to think that I talk properly, but I actually speak with an Estuary English accent - deliberately improved of course.
15. The future of British social class accents:
Which accents will comletely die out? Queen's English, RP?
Which social class accent will the majority of British people have in about 10-20 years? Estuary? or something else?
Estuary English is spreading and is fast becoming the typical "British" accent. It's even used now in parts of Scotland and has received the Jockney. Give it anothter 50 years and RP will have completely died out. However, speaking of Estuary English, Americanisms are also spreading, so maybe our future accent will be some Cockney sound with an American twang... who knows?
Finally you can make some general comments on this topic if you like:
Correcting the way people talk is pointless. Change is inevitable.