Sunday, 12 September 2010

English and Media-Speak

Having just returned from a very good but extremely long church service this morning (I sing in the choir), exhausted and in need of a long, feet-up sit down I switched on the "box". Nothing much of interest so started flicking round the channels.

Shopping channel on jewellery had not one, but two experts talking about their subject which was described as "joollery" by both of them.

Fed up with this after the fifteenth or so time switched to Eastenders in time to hear the offer of their favourite panacea for all ills "a nice cup o tea", quickly followed by "I'm tellin yer de troof". If they would just stop and fink abaht it fer a mo, they might realise that a good percentage of the population is now from other parts of the world and they don't all speak such good English as wot we does.

Having said that I realise that in fact many non-native English speakers speak much better English than most of us.

Having lived in Wales, Birmingham, Wiltshire, Kent, London and Buckinghamshire and spent
a lot of time in the Netherlands I now realise that almost the only people who speak good standard English these days are the Dutch, closely followed by the Germans.

Accents are interesting, dialect words even more so, but horrible dropped-aitch ungrammatical English is not.

Here endeth today's diatribe. Any takers?


  1. Having moved about a lot my accent is definitely mongrel. Born in Scotland, brought up in England, then moved around 11 times in Scotland following jobs and husband. Latterly he followed me, once I became a Minister. So the accent is beyond hope with flattened south-east London vowels..... Interesting post, though. The accents I have most trouble with are fast talking Americans in films.

  2. I find some really broad Geordie accents fairly impenetrable. My problems with Americans generally have very little to do with their accents.