Are they taking the royal we out of accents?

IN the immortal words of Victor Meldrew, I don t believe it… I don t believe the headline outcome of a study into the way people speak. It revealed this week that nearly four out of five people in the East of England – that s you and me whether we like it

IN the immortal words of Victor Meldrew, I don't believe it...

I don't believe the headline outcome of a study into the way people speak.

It revealed this week that nearly four out of five people in the East of England - that's you and me whether we like it or not - do not like the sound of their own voices.

I would agree with that - I cringe every time I hear my recorded voice and I've never come across anyone who says they are happy with the way they sound.

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But the follow-on conclusion is that, given the chance to change the way they talk, most people in this region would prefer to sound like the Queen.

One cannot believe it. The Queen is a dear lady and her accent, although clear and precise, is from a different world to the one occupied by the common people.

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It is the sort of voice we down here might put on to take what one may call the royal we out of others.

Still, the survey result suggests we want to sound super posh, but here's where it falls down for me - it claims that if we cannot talk like the Queen, we would choose an Irish, then a Cockney accent. It's a bit of a difference, ain't it?

One thing nearly everyone agrees with is that the voice they would most dislike having is that of the Brummy. How on earth did that develop over the years?

I said to myself that I didn't believe it when I read about a holiday firm's plan to take people on a tour of Central America in the footsteps - or should that be the wake? - of canoe fraudster John Darwin who faked his own death in a bid to swindle a fortune out of insurance companies.

He and his conniving wife planned to start a new life for themselves in Panama City and Lake Gattun where they intended to set up a canoe school (specialising in capsizing perhaps?).

John Darwin's aunt has described the tour plan as "mad", adding: "It's a pity people don't have anything better to do with their time."

I'm not sure if she is talking about the potential tourists or the police officers, coroner's staff, insurance company workers and many others who wasted so much of their time after her precious nephew disappeared, apparently gone to his maker only to reappear five years later.

Talking about how one comes to be in existence, I don't believe...well, that's it, I do not believe but I respect those who take a different view.

So it galled me to learn this week that Birmingham City Council - it's those Brummies again - had blocked its staff from looking at websites about atheism. But it is quite happy for them to surf the net for sites to do with Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions.

Has no one told these people with funny accents that it is against the law to discriminate against employees because of their religion or belief - and atheism is a belief?

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