British accent stereotypes - 'news'

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 4 17:39:32 UTC 2008

Apparently "r-dropping" is official for British English according to the Oxford and BBC phoneme sets below.  This officially distinguishes Brit-English from Am-English.  They teach and insist on "r-dropping".

Oxford university press – Britenglish spoken pronunciation key with pictures

Britenglish BBC pronunciation key with voicings of phonemes – 8 diphthongs

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
See - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at

> Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 11:24:56 -0400
> From: vaggmk at EARTHLINK.NET
> Subject: British accent stereotypes - 'news'
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Gillian Kyles
> Subject: British accent stereotypes - 'news'
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender: American Dialect Society
>>Poster: Laurence Horn
>>Subject: Cross-post from FL-LIST: British accent stereotypes - 'news'
>>Forwarded from the forensic linguistics list. (Pretty amazing that
>>research has actually shown that people form impressions of others
>>based on how they speak...)
> The writer of the above should live in the South where until
> relatively recently a certain type of Virginia accent and most other
> rural southern accents were definitely associated with a certain
> perceived dimness of mind!
> From Shaw's Preface to Pygmalion:
> "The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach
> their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man
> can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for an
> Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman
> hate or despise him." Parodied in "My Fair Lady"
> As a RP speaker in my late 60s, and having spent my formative years
> in Yorkshire, I can attest to the sigma (at that time) of having a
> local accent.
> It might be of interest to note that when the BBC was trying to cast
> Noel Streatfield's "Ballet Shoes" (2007) they had difficulty in
> finding girls with the required RP accents to reflect the time
> period in which the story is set (late 1930s) when an RP accent was
> more prevalent than it is today. Finally, I believe a small boarding
> school in the south of England provided a couple of the girls.
> Paraphrased from the Guardian:
> Still, while Harry Potter continues to unite adults and children, the
> generation gap may be widening elsewhere. Reports this week that the
> BBC has been unable to find child actors able to speak with an RP
> accent for a dramatisation of Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes have
> left some columnists wondering if this is the end for the accent of
> Britain's ruling classes. In the Guardian, Lyn Gardner hails the rise
> in estuary English, praising her own children's 'less-than-perfect
> vowels' as being 'far more vibrant than mine', and takes the
> opportunity to challenge the idea that certain plays require certain
> accents: 'if we can sit quite happily and watch Twelfth Night in
> Russian and Three Sisters played with American accents, why shouldn't
> we also enjoy a genuinely Scottish Lady Macbeth or a Hamlet speaking
> estuary English?'
> From the Times:
> "It doesn't matter whether you go to public schools or
> comprehensives, children just speak common estuary now. That is the
> trend. But this story requires our leads to speak with a clear
> middle-class accent." The great names of British theatre fear that
> young acting talent may never recover from a "mockney" upbringing.
> Scripts often have to be rewritten to accommodate actors trained in
> regional speech patterns at drama school. Dame Eileen Atkins, who
> appeared in the TV adaptation of David Copperfield in 2000, has told
> young actors that they will have to master Received Pronunciation if
> they want to take on important, classical roles. Otherwise, she said,
> they will play parlour maids forever.
> --
> ___________________________________________________________________________
> Gillian Kyles
> 203 Riverside Avenue
> Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
> (434-293-6671)
> ___________________________________________________________________________
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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