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Author Topic: Why the decline of UK accents and pronounciation?  (Read 2839 times)

Offline BAZ0000

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Morning all, first time poster here. I do beg your pardon if this topic has already been covered by another thread, but I would love to encourage somewhat of a talking point as to why we continue to hear (in the UK) the persistent 'dumbed-down' and 'slangish' use of the english language.

Now I personally do not consider myself as having an RP English accent by any means whatsoever, more of a hybrid...almost neutral anglo-welsh, midlands sort of touch, so I certainly wouldn't go so far as claiming that I speak perfectly.

Can I encourage anyone to offer their opinions on this?

These teenagers, about 14-17, approached me recently asking for directions to a place, and I physically couldn't understand the words that they were saying other than of course the most audiable ones such as ''yeah'' and ''no''.

I'm not an old fart, I'm a mere 26, but I am struggling to understand exactly where this new accent is coming from, and what's worse is that I hear it in cities, towns, villages across the country! ha ha ha! Am I going nuts?

Regards


 

paul.fr

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Why the decline of UK accents and pronounciation?
« Reply #1 on: 29/02/2008 12:14:24 »
I think we need to blame the BBC for dumbing down news and science coverage, as for teenagers, i blame 'the yanks'.
It would seem that preteens are watching too much trashy American TV, to such an extent that they now think, act and talk as though they were in one of the drama's.

The 'F' word is now a verb,noun and adverb. It can be inserted in to any sentence, and quite often is.
 

Offline BAZ0000

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Why the decline of UK accents and pronounciation?
« Reply #2 on: 29/02/2008 12:41:09 »
Yes, I quite agree with that the BBC and other media conduits are partly, or maybe moreso responsible for such a decline in the use of English language. There's probably a very good article or journal somewhere out there published that covers this topic well. Social studies are limited at best and offer no real substance other than pyschological theory based on current environment patterns, but I am really interested as to how it has happened.

I talked to my partners cousin recently and she frequently (and dare I say with emphasis) used the words ''Da'' as opposed to ''that'', ''wiv'' - commonly known as ''with'' and also refering to the odd brand, such as Asda supermarket as ''Azdooor''. OK these are minor examples, but to listen to this sort of jargen being spoken to me, at speed with an almost questioning manner about her speach with infuriating. Everything she pretty much said finished as though she was asking a question!

All I can say is that my best friends girlfriend teaches 4/5 year olds, luckily their innocent and un-tapped but this accent, but I have to take my hat off to secondary school teachers who listen to this trash day-in, day-out!
 

another_someone

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Why the decline of UK accents and pronounciation?
« Reply #3 on: 29/02/2008 13:54:16 »
It looks like there are a number of conflicting issues here.

Yes, without a doubt, RP has lost its position as the accent to be aspired to; and yes, the BBC has contributed to this, but many would argue that the BBC itself is only reflecting wider disillusionment with the social assumptions that many associate with RP (not least, the notion that RP reflects the language of a hierarchical society, and that very hierarchy is now brought into doubt).

The extensive use of the F word cannot really be blamed on the BBC, who still limit its use somewhat (although it is tolerated more than it once was, but only in certain drama programs).  I believe it is probably even less tolerated in US programming (although not having a TV, I cannot say much about UK and US TV output, and can judge more from the BBC's radio output).

As for mutual intelligibility of accents, I would think it is probably higher now than it was in the 1930s, let alone from the era before the BBC was prominent.  The BBC itself has done much to erode the more extreme local dialects, and increased social mobility has also contributed to that.  What is certainly the case is that the youth of today, as the youth of every generation, are rebelling against the authority of their elders, and part of that rebellion is in trying to carve out a language which they feel they can take ownership of that is not the language of their elders.

If you want to look at real changes in language, look at the great vowel shift that happened in the English language between the 15th and 16th century - the language changed to such an extent that the English of the 15th century would not at all have been easily understood by a speaker of English in the 17th century (and incidentally is responsible for many of the quirks of spelling in the English language); but at that rate of change, there would have been very noticeable shifts in language even from generation to generation, let alone from grandparent to grandchild.  The assumption is that in all probability that too was caused by social mobility created in the aftermath of the Black Death.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why the decline of UK accents and pronounciation?
« Reply #4 on: 29/02/2008 23:28:58 »
What drives me mad is the use of "innit". I've a young friend who hails from 1 of the less desirable areas of London and recently she said to me "I went to the doctor's yesterday innit".

"In what?", I enquired, "A taxi?"

She looked puzzled.

 

Offline Bored chemist

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Why the decline of UK accents and pronounciation?
« Reply #5 on: 01/03/2008 14:03:42 »
Teenagers have always been noted for poor pronunciation; the fact that you can't understand them just means they haven't grown up yet.

(BTW, English and Welsh have capital letters and I'm not sure what "luckily their innocent and un-tapped but this accent, but I have to take my hat off to secondary school teachers" means)
 

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Why the decline of UK accents and pronounciation?
« Reply #5 on: 01/03/2008 14:03:42 »

 

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