How is RP viewed by non-RP Speakers in the UK?

Carolyn   Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:39 pm GMT
I've always wondered about this. I find RP very unattractive. I could listen to a Scottish person or a Yorkshire guy talk all day. And There people from London who speak with an attractive (to my ears) accent that is neither Cockney not RP. I'm nto sure what it's called... perhaps Estuary?
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:18 pm GMT
You have got to be thinking of the "posher" variety of RP - nothing to do with Estuary.....that's entirely different from mega posh, strangulated, way back English English Posh RP.

One of the most well known speakers of that kind of accent is Brian Sewell (an expert on all things to do with art). Pronounce his name as "See-ool". His accent and voice is so exaggeratedly posh that he is almost regarded as a comic figure when you hear him speak...he almost makes the Queen sound like a common woman stallholder selling fruit and veg at London's Borough Market in Southwark (pronunced as "SUTH-uck"). Brian Sewell hardly seems to open his mouth when he speaks, and to a Scotsman like me it's excruciating to listen to. He broadcasts on BBC radio quite frequently...if not on art, then on current affairs discussions, such as Any Questions? on Radio 4.

Anyway, listen to the guy and make your mind up about his ultra Posh English English RP. Definitely, positively, absolutely NOT Estuary in any way, shape or form. Open the audio link and just click on the whole array of statement leaders and you will hear him saying the respective phrases......plenty to choose from.

Painful isn't it? ;-)
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:23 pm GMT
We like to mock it.
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:03 pm GMT
I'm a non native English speaker and after hearing the samples Damian provided in that link I must say I like the way Mr Sewell speaks very much. Very elegant and educated English, nothing to do with low class English of the Beckhams and people like these.
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:05 pm GMT
As a non native speaker you are in no position to judge native speakers' English, low class or otherwise.
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:07 pm GMT
Of course I am .
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:17 pm GMT
Mr Sewell sounds so gay
British men sound either gay (RP) or redneckish (Estuary, Cockney).
British girls sound nicer.
|||   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:26 pm GMT
The pronunciation and accent of some of the sentences were quite funny. Others do not.
But I agree that he sounds more... RP than others, even kind of feminine in some sentences.
I would prefer the way Jeremy Irons narrates an audio book.

Badjack   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:32 pm GMT
Part of the perception also is that the stereotype of way-posh RP speaking men and the stereotype of gay American/English men speaking is a very affected nose in the air, frail and frightened man.

I've never heard a gay Scottish man speak (we get so few Scottish people where I live that I haven't run into a gay one yet) or a gay Irishman, so we don't have a stereotype for that. I'm sure many on this site will now feel an odd sense of discomfort at the thought that there's a portion of the population for which there's not a stereotype.. after all, on what superficiality will we judge who is worthy and good without a stereotype for everyone? Fortunately there will always be plenty of uneducated, loud, eating-with-fork-in-the-wrong-hand Americans to get you past it.

<<British girls sound nicer>>
That leads me to another subject that deserves its own topic...
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:51 pm GMT
"Fortunately there will always be plenty of uneducated, loud, eating-with-fork-in-the-wrong-hand Americans to get you past it."

Which is the "wrong" hand if the person happens to be left handed?
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:09 pm GMT
I'm right-handed but use the fork with my right hand. To use your left hand is illogical to me since. I wonder what genius invented that people must use the fork with their left hand.
Mary   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:13 pm GMT
That genius who used a knife in the right hand.
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:55 pm GMT
I'm left handed and I happen to use a fork in my left hand. BRILLIANT!
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:02 pm GMT
***I've never heard a gay Scottish man speak (we get so few Scottish people where I live that I haven't run into a gay one yet)***

That can soon be remedied, pal! I've no idea where you live but for argument's sake let's assume you're in London (highly unlikely if you've never heard a gay Scotsman speak as there are plenty of them speaking down there, but no matter!)

Ok, your'e in London, say - take a tube to King's Cross main line train station on any one of these Underground lines - Victoria, Piccadilly, Northern, Circle, Metropolitan, Central - get off at King's Cross St Pancras tube station, nip up the escalators, run like hell to Platform 6 (or 7 or 9) and jump onto a train going direct to Edinburgh Waverley.

Four hours forty minutes or so later jump off the train at Edinburgh Waverley, pass through the barriers, run up the long flights of steps (three at a time) and up again and out into Princes Street. Cross over Princes Street (preferably on a pedestrian crossing point!) and turn right and trot along until you come to Leith Street which branches off to the left...go along there, past the St James' Shopping Centre on your left, and up past the RC Cathedral, still on your left, and then into Picardy Place, off which, to your left again, is Broughton Street. Branching off to the right from Picardy Place is Leith Walk. Leith Walk - Broughton are now in Edinburgh's prime gay area, full of pubs and clubs and bars and bistros and restaurants. And full of gay Scotsmen, all speaking....and a fair wee number of other nationalities as well - including Englishmen. And an American..or two..or three.. now and again...and again....oh, and a mega dishy Canadian barman who always wears a red maple leaf emblem attached to his tops.

I was going to tell you about Calton Hill but I changed my mind......
Damian   Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:03 pm GMT
your'e = you're