Yes, Alice, I agree. Now that a university education is no longer a middle-class (and therefore RP-speaking) privilege, we are beginning to hear many more regional accents on campus. Maybe a sea change in common assumptions will swiftly follow. Well, one can always live in hope!
There are also different "formal" accents. I imagine that there is both a Scottish and Irish formal accent along with the English RP one. In the US, there is both a northern and southern formal accent, and the southern one is still heard in many southern universities even today. There is also an African-American formal accent, such as the one spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Thurgood Marshall, which is different than the accents you hear most African Americans speak.
What about the accents of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint?
Did anyone see Michael J Fox on Conan last night? At one point, Conan asked him if he's had to work hard to loose his Canadian accent, he responded, "You mean to get my American accent?". The whole crowd cheered, (Late Night is taping in Toronto this week). He then went on to talk about certain words he had to modify for Family Ties, he specifically mentioned that when saying "sorry" he had to think about indian garments, (ie "sari"). It was very cute. I just adore Michael J Fox!
Now I'm confused, if so English-speaking people have accents, what is the standard English accent?
I saw the show tonight and I found his comments strange. I think a fair number of Americans pronounce "sorry" as ['so:ri(:)] as opposed to ['sa:ri(:)], don't they?
Anyway, I couldn't understand a lot of what he said, even though I have plenty of experience watching Conan O'Brien.
I say ['sa:ri(:)], but I have heard ['so:ri(:)]. I hear ['sa:ri(:)] most of the time, though.
I pronounce ''sorry'' as ['sa:ri:};. it seems to be more common than ['so:ri:] in American English. ['so:ri:] sounds a bit canadian to me.
Both m-w.com and my Random House Webster's list ['sa:ri(:)] and ['so:ri(:)].
Yeah, they do, but, Merriam-websters dictionary lists ['sa:ri:] first before it lists ['so:ri:]. It seems more common in America for ''sorry'' to rhyme with ''starry'' than for it to rhyme with ''story'' and ''lorry''. For me, ''sorry'' and ''lorry'' don't rhyme. I pronounce ''sorry'' as ['sa:ri:] and ''lorry'' as ['lo:ri:].
There are 2 main standards,
There is the British Standard as represented by BBC aaccent.
And there is an American Standard, represented by normal pronunciation
on Comercial US TV. (ABC, CBS, NBC)
Regards, Paul V.
If I'm emphasizing the word, I'd likely pronounce it to rhyme with "starry", but when speaking more quickly, or less distinctly, the vowell sound would probably be closer to "blurry". But, that's just me...