BBC English

Jaro   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 01:20 GMT
Why is BBC English often described as snobbish? I personally think it's the most beautiful UK English, while scouse, brummie and scottish accents are the ugliest.
A.S.C.M.   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 01:54 GMT
Eh, Jaro, are you following stereotypes and anti-stereotypes? Coincidentally, Brummie and Scouse have the worst stigmas in the UK whilst the Scots accent is generally regarded as "friendly" and "intimate" for some odd reason.

Personally, I find nothing ugly about Scouse, Brummie, and Scottish and nothing snobbish about BBC English. I do find the Scottish and Geordie accents quite intriguing, though.

I don't really want to give a definitive opinion on BBC English. It's rather similar to my accent and therefore, a definitive opinion from me will either sound conceited or self-deprecatory. I'll just give the following comment: BBC English doesn't sound so nice when its spoken by old dames like QEII but it does sound awfully pretty when young children speak it. (I'm no longer a young child and my accent has sustained various modifications, so you can't consider me conceited.)
Juan   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 01:56 GMT
I tend to agree but not to that extreme. The RP doesn't sound snobbish to me, in fact some AmE accents sound more arrogant to me than any British accent. Or maybe is not the accent itself but the tone of voice is so condescending. The only thing I can say about the other accents in Britain is that some of them are close to being pretty unintelligible to my ears. Its almost like they are mumbling or something.
Tarek to Jaro   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 13:12 GMT
Perhaps someone thinks BBC English is beautiful because it sounds snobbish. Do you think something snobbish can not be nice?
Fallen Angel   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 14:55 GMT
RP accent is easy on the ears of foreigners but personally, I like Cockney. Hmmm...the rhyming sound is so sexy.
zi   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 19:29 GMT
BBC English accents sound very pretty to my ears. I wish I had BBC accent. Snobbish or not snobbish, it's beatiful.
Hythloday   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 20:29 GMT
Re: "Why is BBC English often described as snobbish? I personally think it's the most beautiful UK English, while scouse, brummie and scottish accents are the ugliest."

No accent is inherently 'ugly' or 'beautiful', as a large number of sociolinguistic surveys have proved beyond reasonable doubt - you only think this way because of the social connotations which these accents possess. You only dislike Brummie, for example, because you know that this accent comes from Birmingham and because you have an outdated stereotypical mental image of Birmingham as a heavily industrialised and unattractive region of the English Midlands. The way in which Birmingham speakers are unfairly negatively stereotyped in the mass media also influences the way you react to the accent. Foreign people who have no idea of the social connotations which British English accents have for those familiar with them do not discriminate on the same grounds.

I must also ask you to explain what you mean by BBC English. BBC English may have been easy to define about twenty years ago when everyone on TV spoke with an RP accent, but nowadays it is possible to hear a wide range of regional British English (and foreign) accents on BBC TV and radio programmes.
Juan   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 20:44 GMT
True no accent is inherently 'ugly' or 'beautiful' as you put it. But one is for certain, those accents do come across a bit on the uneducated side as they seem to mumble a lot and therefore look down upon as it happens for every language on this earth. For me RP does not sound snobbish but I do think it is clear and precise as their speakers make a concious effort to properly pronounce their words which is the reason why I like it.
zi   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 22:41 GMT
Within the national group, our prejudices tend to be very mixed and, because they operate mainly on un unconscious level, not easily recognisable. We can be native of great cities and still find a town dialect less pleasant than a country one. And yet, hearing prettiness and quaintness in a Dorset or Devon Twang, we can also despise it, because we associate it with rural stupidity or backwardness. The ugly tones of Manchester or Birmingham will, because of their great civic associations, be at the same time somehow admirable. The whole business of ugliness and beauty works strangely. A BBC announcer says 'pay day'; a cockney says 'pie die'. The former is thoughtj to be beatiful, the latter ugly, and yet the announce can use the cockney sounds in a statement like 'Eat the pie and you will die' without anybody's face turning sour.
In fact, terms like 'ugly' and 'beautiful' cannot really apply to languages at all. Poet scan make beatiful patterns out of words, but there are no standards we can use to formulate aesthetic judgements on the words themselves.

*Taken from Language Made Plain by Anthony Burgess
Jaro   Saturday, November 29, 2003, 23:48 GMT
By BBC English I mean the type of accent I hear on BBC News.
Yes I know Brummie accent comes from Birmingham which used to be heavily industrialised, but that's not the cause of my dislike of this peculiar accent. It's just the way they pronounce words. It's like a mumble for a foreigner. The same holds for Scouse accent.
I don't like the Scotish accent mainly because of their "r" and vowels.
Ah, and those Estuary English speakers omitting "t"s, you really know how to spoil a language.
I'm sorry if someone from England with a northern accent is reading this topic, this is nothing personal.
Generally, southern English accents sound more attractive to non-english ear.
A.S.C.M.   Sunday, November 30, 2003, 00:21 GMT
Hello, Jaro:

Firstly, Hythloday is a Brummie but Birmingham isn't exactly in the North so I suggest that you rephrase your apology.

Secondly, I assume that the "BBC English" to which you are referring is a middle ground between Received Pronunciation and Estuary English. I don't think that there is an accepted name for this accent but some websites call it the "Educated Southern Standard".

Thirdly, thank you for your compliment, for my accent is close to the "Educated Southern Standard".
Jaro   Sunday, November 30, 2003, 00:56 GMT
Hythloday, I'm sorry if my post about Brummie accent offended you in some way. I'm sure people in Birmingham are very kind and friendly, and do not deserve to be discriminated. I think it's a matter of taste, which accent do I like. On the contrary, I've read that Brummie accent is most appealing for americans.
Jaro   Sunday, November 30, 2003, 00:58 GMT
typo : *post => message
A.S.C.M.   Sunday, November 30, 2003, 01:06 GMT
Ash   Sunday, November 30, 2003, 05:39 GMT
I'm an American and personaly I haven't heard a British accent I didn't like. though I met a man from london and I think his accent was the most appealing so far.