article by Peter Corrigan in The Observer confronts our attitudes towards
local accents by looking at Phil Tufnell, an England
Corrigan points out that Tufnell's accent doesn't meet our expectations
of an England cricketer, although it is perfectly normal for a Londoner.
The journalist uses phrases such as:
... does the accent grate?"
This choice of language suggests that it is a painful experience to hear
this accent, that it jars, that it is almost distasteful.
immediate reaction on hearing Tufnell speak was generally one of surprise,
and it is a shock to realise that, in these supposedly enlightened
days, our perception of what we expect our various sports stars to
arrive from is so fixed."
This is clearly a social prejudice, with a snobbish attitude towards a
speaker who carries an accent as a badge of their social class.
In the next
paragraph the writer describes other local accents using personal value
Do you agree with the adjectives used to describe the accents?
could be that what helps to give Tufnell's vocal delivery its arresting
quality is that it comes from London. Cricket is well used to the
accents of its strongholds either side of the Penines, as well as
the unmistakable music of the Midlands and the slow drawl of the rustic
counties, but I can't recall a Cockney cricketer clamouring for so
much attention previously."
are the social prejudices about accents which are evident here?
Look carefully at the language used to describe speakers who use
What evidence is there that speakers using a given accent conform