Friday, September 27, 2013

"Prejudice about accents is alive and well."

ITV's Tonight programme last night (available on ITV player) featured some good coverage of attitudes to different accents, including a survey by ComRes into how people rate certain regional varieties. The overall findings suggest that many people still feel that their accent pigeonholes them socially and that prejudice is often rife among some employers towards people with certain accents. As the programme blurb states:

...even in modern Britain, where equality is the new God, prejudice about accents is alive and well. And we often found it thriving most - along the north-south, “us and them” fault-lines of old.
Our research not only shows that more than a quarter of Britons (28%) feel they have been discriminated against because of their regional accent but also, according to another batch of research by the law firm Peninsular, that 80% of employers admit to making discriminating decisions based on regional accents.

As part of ENGA3 we've been looking at language variation and attitudes towards accents and dialects, and many of us will have been running through last summer's assignment on Victoria Coren's take on  George Osborne's downwards convergence towards Morrisons workers,  so this programme is well-timed from that point of view. It also offers plenty of extra ammunition for debate and discussion in the form of the survey results which you can find here on the ITV Tonight website.

Black British English vs MLE

The latest episode of Lexis is out and it features an interview with Ife Thompson about lots of issues connected to Black British English, i...