Excuse Me, What Did You Just Say? | Teen Ink

Excuse Me, What Did You Just Say?

May 24, 2016
By ZoeMalik SILVER, London, Other
ZoeMalik SILVER, London, Other
6 articles 1 photo 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don’t just get started. Keep going.

Pleasantness vs Prestige who do you think will win?
Well, what I mean is Regional accents vs RP (Received Pronunciation)
Still confused? Don’t know?
Zoe goes in search for the answers.

At my school, students view accents as a good thing. They like that people are unlike everyone else. They say “Your accent is wicked, where are you from?” The people at my school like that people sound different, therefore when they meet people with accents different than theirs; they don’t assume that those people are less educated or less intelligent, of course not.

I’m sure we know of a lot of people that make prejudices of people simply because of the way they speak or probably we do ourselves, do you? That’s because we all have different judgements as to what we think is good correct English and the bad incorrect English.  But this sounds very silly because surely everyone’s way of speaking should be accepted and treated equally, don’t you think?

An Edinburgh accent is valued highly, while an Asian, cockney, Liverpool and Birmingham accents are all deemed both unpleasant to listen to and lacking in social status. Although, a London accent was thought to be very helpful career-wise but people did not find it nice to listen to. Respondents liked the sound of Newcastle accents but did not think they were very prestigious or useful when job-hunting. Southern Irish accent is praised for charm and sounding soft and warm.

The list goes on and on and on…

Anyhow back to the facts as we all know; RP is authoritative and widely respected and understood its intelligent, upper class and beneficial when applying for jobs and RP speakers would be typically someone who is self-confident, ambitious, determined and of course status and power and money just like the royal family.

For general use, the Received Pronunciation is best, as it is the clearest and most widely understood kind. I have sometimes found myself unable to understand announcements, at stations or on trains, because the announcer had a strong accent and was very unclear. Announcements may be important for safety as well as for catching a train, and should be understandable by all.

So is RP flawed? What is the downside?

RP is perfect right?

Well, you’re wrong if you said it’s perfect because it’s not, Of course not, there is absolutely no accent that is perfect we all have different ways of seeing something to be perfect and imperfect; we are all different our perceptions are unique to ourselves.

RP has its imperfections as RP doesn’t sound trustworthy or friendly and you don’t get the feeling of warmth and they tend to have a personality of being reserved and busy all the time so they are not talkative, less social, snobbish and only voice the minority as there aren’t many RP speakers so are not very representative as RP speakers are mainly upper class and they aren’t good natured or outgoing and are grumpy, moody and arrogant and they have no sense of humour.

Even sociolinguist Peter Trudgill says RP speakers are perceived as “haughty and unfriendly”.

Enough of RP now.

Its time for Regional accents

Regional accents are very much in demand now for entertainment like comedies and even for bbc reporting. Also they have everything that an RP accent doesn’t have, so that’s great.

Actually not so great, as regional accents aren’t so clear and understandable by many people and are associated with being in a working class and being less intelligent and uneducated.

Sociolinguist Peter Trudgill says “Children with working class accents and dialects may be evaluated by some teachers as having less educational potential than those with middle class accents and dialects”.

But what regional accents in specific are being picked at?

Professor of communication in the University of California Howard Giles done a test on students and asked how impressed they were by some presentations and those who heard RP were most impressed and were least impressed were those who heard Birmingham accent.

Also Research conducted by the Worcester College of higher education suggested that speakers with Birmingham accents may be more likely to be presumed guilty when suspected of a criminal offence and regarded as less intelligent, less socially competent and more likely to be poor and working class.

Brummie accent is being looked down upon by many.

Im sure youve got enough knowledge now to make the decision on  now whether you as an individual while prefer to listen to something prestige or pleasant. Remember everyone has different views so you cannot claim your opinion to be something that should be globally accepted.

Are you going to even  decide wont that make you prejudice?

I guess everyone makes judgement anyways ill leave it to you now.
Before you judge someone negatively, think to yourself are you perfect? Clearly not
Be an encourager the world has plenty of critics already

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