British accent stereotypes - 'news'

Scot LaFaive slafaive at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 4 18:52:07 UTC 2008

Speaking of rhyming and British accents, there was a Family Guy
episode where one of the characters is trying to teach a Cockney
speaking child how to speak "proper" British English and he uses the
following rhyme to "correct" her pronunciation.

"The life of the wife is ended by the knife."

Is this just something the writers made up or does anyone know if it
is from elsewhere?


On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 1:36 PM, sagehen <sagehen at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: British accent stereotypes - 'news'
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> on 4/4/08 12:20 PM, Charles Doyle at cdoyle at UGA.EDU wrote:
> > Case in point . . . .
> >
> > Just a few moments ago in class, mentioning some prominent imagery patterns in
> > a Jacobean play, I pronounced the word "forehead" in my customary way, [farId]
> > (the second vowel may be a barred-"i"). Half the students professed not to
> > know what word I was uttering; the other half delicately referred to my
> > pronunciation as "something out of _Deliverance_"). And this is in Georgia!
> >
> > --Charlie
> ~~~~~~~~~
> Ask them to recite:
> There was a little girl, and she had a little curl
> Right in the middle of her forehead
> When she was good, she was very very good
> And when she was bad, she was horrid!
> ~~~~~~~~~~
> The disappearance of accent  class markers in England is hardly brand new. A
> good many of the kids in the middle-to-upper-middle class public school our
> kids attended nearly 40 years ago affected a decidedly down-market speech.
> Maybe the Beatles phenom had something to do with this.
> AM
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