Q:If it's a particularly old and traditional posh school they might give elocution lessons too, but I don't know if that's still done anymore (I went to decidedly unposh schools so idk). You'd have to ask a true public school alumni...
Damn, elocution lessons. That sounds pretty posh. I mean, my sister got speech therapy for a little while to get rid of a subtle lisp she had, but that doesn’t sound half that intense.
Here’s the first vaguely posh gif I could find!
It’s all relative, right? We all have an accent (it’s the nature of speech) but we only notice them in others. :-)
What drives me nuts is when people claim that you are essentially smarter or hotter or classier if you have a British accent. Riiiight. The appeal of a different accent disappears pretty quickly once you actually get talking to someone. I confess, I’ve gotten pretty self-conscious when talking to someone with a really posh London accent because they initially seemed way smoother, but that feeling dissipates the more you interact with like, real people (interestingly, the opposite happens with people from certain parts of NYC).
Actually, this leads me to a question that remains unanswered for me. My friend B is from London, and she claims that most people with higher education have pretty much the same accent, and basically the more rural/less-formally-educated you go, the heavier and more specific the accent. I’ve never been to the UK, though, so I don’t know if that’s true (I’m pretty sure watching Black Books and Shameless doesn’t make me an accent expert ;-) ). I am pretty curious as to whether that’s true, so if any Brits want to shed some light on the topic you are more than welcome to!
In case you’ve ever wondered about British accents, and how many there are, (and how cool it is that an island that small can have so many different accents), here are some awesome resources!
http://dialectblog.com/british-accents/ - not a complete list of accents, but it explains a good number of them, and includes audio samples of accents.
http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/accent.cfm#standard - some good FAQs and answers about the nature of accents, including some history on the more well-known British accents.
http://www.empireonline.com/features/worst-british-movie-accents/default.asp - some examples of terrible/funny cinematic attempts at British accents.
http://www.gotoquiz.com/which_british_accent_do_you_have_1 - a quiz to determine what kind of English accent you have. Just because we can.
Have fun exploring! - Sharon
No, of course we don’t have all these mp3s playlisted on our iTunes. That would just be weird…
Anglophile Problem 42:
Learn to recognize subtle differences between UK accents; still stuck with own boring accent.