Mechanical

Accents, pictures, and masturbation

Years ago, I asked a British friend of mine why she didn't want to move back to the UK. She explained that her accent left her "marked" and the class barriers were so strong that it limited her career possibilities (ironically, she was unemployed at the time). I've discovered over the past few days that accents are indeed a big deal around here. While I suppose my accent makes the topic more likely to come up, it's distressing to hear folks being branded so strongly just because they sound different.



There is a strong "north/south" divide in the UK and the farther north your accent is from, the more likely you are the get grief for it. In fact, I was chatting with two gentleman yesterday who explained that they went to voice coaches to "improve" their accents. Now I can understand how regional behaviors might grate on folks -- the New York personality is as strong as their accent and not everyone appreciates it (I don't mind) -- but accents? Come on! That's ridiculous. Last night I was hanging out with the tatooed moosipher and while his accidental date was commenting on what a posh accent he had, he was busy adjusting his 8mm nose ring. Yet he's quite a nice guy despite an appearance that would give a few folks pause.

Speaking of his accidental date, he and I got together at a pub named the Pit and Pendulum (very close to the "Man Ho Restaurant") and he met her at the bar and they started chatting. She joined us on a drunken spree between bars when, at one humiliating point, everyone started laughing uproariously at me. I don't recall the exact wording of what I said, but apparently I had volunteered to masturbate on her. She was sitting across the table wanting a cigarette and I volunteered to toss her one. It was quite some time before anyone could explain that the word "toss" must not be bandied about casually. (I might add that I also have a delightful photo of the two of them, but since they were drunk when they said I could post it, I decided I couldn't. Sorry, folks).

And in other news, just south of where I'm staying is:

(Click on the pictures for larger versions)

Pitcher & Piano Pitcher & Piano
If you look closely, you'll notice what appears to be an advertisement on one side, but it's not.
Pitcher & Piano, Front Pitcher & Piano, Front
This is actually an old church which has been converted to a pub.
Victoria Street, looking west. Victoria Street, looking west.
Just a couple of minutes north of where my hotel is and next to the Pit and Pendulum.
Victoria Street, looking east. Victoria Street, looking east.
Just a couple of minutes north of where I'm staying.
  • Current Mood: tired tired
Tags: ,
Yes, accents are big here... and you can go 30 miles and get a distinctly different regional accent in many parts of England. Its an old island, and folk didnt used to move around much! Re the North/South divide, it is actually a tad more complex that that. For instance, Scots accents (with perhaps the exception of a "Trainspotting" gutter Glaswegian) are generally held in fairly high regard, whereas the Birmingham (aka 'Brummy') accent is almost universally derided and commonly taken as a sign of low intelligence.

Although its a huge generalisation, regarding the social domination of the so-called "Standard English" (=posh) accent, it can be traced back to a few key factors. 1) People with money have tended to move around rather than stay in one region, which weakens regional accent links. 2) Money also is concentrated in the UK around London and the South East - which provide the basis of the Std Eng accent. 3) Ruling elites also normally send their kids to boarding school, which again removes links with regional accents... 4) People wanting to "get on" will emulate the accents of those in power, and 5) for a long time the BBC (for years the only public broadcaster) would *only* allow the cheesiest upper class accents. It is only in relatively recent times that some regional variation of accent has been allowed or even encouraged.
I was already having a prety good day but reading this post made me smile even more. I miss the UK.
SUCH a Cool night :)
We do have to do it again - VERY soon - mainly because I appear to have become distracted during the evening - can't work out why that would have occurred ..

My accent is normally considered posh by most people not from the home counties - but anyone with any accent in this country who can clearly annunciate and form sentences will be considered posh . Saying that however - wolfpeach has got some very VERY valid points . One of the interesting points about the regionalisation of the English language is the variety of slang terms used across the country . Some places you will here one word being used in a certain way - and across the country it will be used completely differently .

I completely don't remember the tossing moment - although it sounds extremely possibly considering the shit that occurred last night .. Of course - the only thing that could have beaten the 'tossing' for full comedic effect - you would have to have offered to toss her a fag :D

I have a few more pubs that I would like to introduce you too , also .. including the oldest public house in England :)

*And hell - PLEASE can you mail me the photo ?
PLEEEEASE ????? - moosipher (at) gmail.com - cheers:D
anyone with any accent in this country who can clearly annunciate and form sentences will be considered posh

That's certainly true. I have a very clear, well-spoken accent and I get accused of being posh for it. But my accent doesn't come from having a privileged background. It's from having a partially deaf mother, which meant I was raised to speak clearly so she could hear me.
Heheh, the "tossing" mix-up makes me grin. Reminds me of the first time my friend Roy in Winchester told me he'd "knock me up around 10". I think I took a full minute to start breathing again while someone else explained. Heh!
heheehee there's soooo much more to come, m'love, regarding the turns of phrase which will cause you a great deal of accidental embarrassment. (and my schadenfreude is well-earned, damn it!)

I learned about the ridiculous British accent thing from a friend from New Zealand who had been made to cultivate quite the accent whilst in the UK (although her many years in Australia had added a hint of strine). So I guess you'd better be careful of what sort of accent you start to pick up, although this process is so subtle, you won't notice it until you speak to Americans and "hear yourself."

Thank the stars you don't have a job involving dealing with the general public. I'll never forget the time an Aussie had to translate the English of a Kiwi for me (boy was he pissed (errr--angry) and I embarrassed!!) Is it my fault that the typical Kiwi pronunciation of "i" sounds much like an "e" (such that "six" sounds like "sex")??

Don't forget: "septic tank" or "seppo" is a corruption of "(damn) Yank." It's a term of endearment, really ;-)

Had the sweetest dream about you last night, AND I slept well. It was nice to wake up and smile right away. :-)

.. it's not a big deal, even with my heavy foreign accent i never had any trouble.

sometimes I say things with double meanings on purpose- as if I don't understand the "dirty" meaning- just to see the reaction ))

sometimes I do get confused- but, that is the good way to make a laugh anyway < so, just take it easy)

UK accents in the US are hot... and is for sure not a barrier to employment.

However, here in the US people who speak English with certain accents have trouble finding employment in certain careers without working on their accent... say a person who speaks a heavy ebonics accent, or a very rural southern accent. Both are almost equally frowned upon. :/
oi.. you really should have buffed up on your british television before you left. i should have hooked you up :)

a comedy or two later, and you'd know exactly what not to say.

glad to hear that things are going well -- i still need to hear the homeless in hawaii story. perhaps we'll get together in a pub in one country or another at some point.
For some reason - I only ever seem to hear the word "bollocks" used as a curse word from americans who have been living here for some time . It *does* seem to be indicative of a length of time spent here , in the company of terrible bastards such as myself :)
getting grief for your accent happens everywhere, north and south. Up North I tend to lower my voice and lengthen some consonants so I'm not seens as 'posh'. My boyfriend is from London so I tease him him for his terrible accent, just as he teases me for mine. It's a British sport ;0)
Accents
So hows it going? Enjoying the new place, work good?

Accent issues are mainly good humoured pastime. I don't think it affects career possibilities unless I am being naive, which I admit is possible!
For some reason I never tire of whinging about scouser accents!
Re: Accents
Hi bro and bro! LOL So have you gotten the accent you mentioned dreading so much when you left Poole? LOL Hugs to you both!
I couldn't get much further south so I must be uber-employable... right? ;)

As an extension of that, almost everybody is a northerner to me so I can't afford to be prejudiced - far too outnumbered :)
Local phrases work both ways :)

e.g. When working in San Francisco, when asked where my manager was, by one of my colleagues (lets call him "Don"), I responded that he "was outside having a fag". After 10 mins of near apoplexy, I was informed by Don that I shouldn't say that because someone might get the wrong idea.

My manager, who had spent some time in Australia, thought that my comment was quite funny and frequently told Don that he was off to either smoke or have a fag.

Welcome to the UK, as soon as we've got a date for visiting my in-laws, I'll let you know and if you're available, we can treat you to a beer or several.
More pictures! Especially of the seedy pubs where you are hanging out. :)
Yer a man after my own heart!
Make sure they'd be good enough to get him arrested.
Pitcher and Piano
The Church used to be part of High Pavement school, which is where my Dad was educated. I love drinking in there when it is quiet during the day, but at night its all a bit too much I find :-)
Re: Pitcher and Piano
My goodness, all the Perl people are slowly but surely working their way to LJ, aren't they?