Which is the best English Accent?
by Mike Mills
Years ago if people spoke correctly without a distinct accent they were said to have the King's English or BBC English. Nearly all educated people aspired to this.
And so-called intellectuals used the snobbish Oxford Accent!
When I was a youngster and if ever dared to say the word home or house or heaven without enunciating the h - that is, 'ome and 'ouse and 'eaven, there would be 'ell to pay! I might even get a clip round the 'ear 'ole!
Then along came mass media and pop musicians: the Beatles all spoke with a pronounced Liverpool accent, and because of their overwhelming popularity, the Scouse accent became the new aspiration! Even intellectual snobs from down south used to imitate it (always badly I might add - only Scousers can speak Scouse!).
But It was simply a matter of time before other accents became acceptable.
At the present time the Cockney accent, the East London accent, is widely accepted as normal.
Cockney expressions are now in general usage, too. Their rhyming slang expressions such as Have a butcher's hook at this! becomes Have a butcher's at this! - Have a look at this! (Rhyming slang expressions often lose the last word in spoken English: I've been on the dog all day does not mean I've been engaging in some sort of sexual perversion with a canine, but I've been on the dog and bone all day meaning I've been on the phone all day. Strictly, Cockneys are Londoners born within the sound of Bow Bells - Bow being a church in East London.
Nowadays, the ever pc BBC have steered away from King's English or BBC English, or even the Queen’s English. At least the accent part, and their newsreaders and programme hosts' and commentators' accents range from broad Yorkshire, Liverpudlian, Welsh; to say nothing of Jamaican, Indian and other accents imported by immigrants - and even a mild form of Glaswegian - simply mild, as otherwise only about 10% of the British population would understand it!
The Oxford Voice - A Poem by D H Lawrence (famous author of "Lady Chatterley's Lover")
When you hear it languishing
and hooing and cooing, and sidling through the front teeth,
the Oxford voice
or worse still
the would-be Oxford voice
you don't even laugh any more, you can't.
For every blooming bird is an Oxford cuckoo nowadays,
you can't sit on a bus nor in the tube
but it breathes gently and languishingly in the back of
And oh, so seductively superior, so seductively