David Beckham may be the biggest football and fashion
icon in the world but when it comes to accents his instantly gets the
red card. Also up there in the hall of fame of those with the least pleasant
accents in the British Isles are Im a Celebrity Get Me Out
of Here Janet Street-Porter, Jasper Carrot, Cilla Black and even
comedian Billy Connolly.
Most pleasant accent, according to a recent poll.
According to people in the West super-smooth Sean Connery
is the most pleasant speaker with Trevor McDonald and Joanna
Lumley also ranking in their top five. Having a news reader's voice does
come in handy as does the Queens English if youre looking
for a job.
These are just some of the results
of a BBC commissioned online poll which sampled peoples attitudes
to accent, dialect and the way we speak. It is a light-hearted precursor
to an ambitious investigation into the English language currently being
collected and delivered by the BBC.
The BBCs Voices project has
audio-gatherers recording the voices of at least 1,000 interviewees from
an eclectic mix of people from all corners of the UK. Linguistics expert,
Dr Clive Upton, said:
Scratch the surface and language can create huge
debate. We are passionate about it because its about our identity
who we are and where we are from. What we want to unearth is real language
and how it affects real people. For example who is to say that non-standard
English, phrases like, Im not going nowhere is substandard
English. This goes back to Shakespeare and beyond. Its the same
with accents, who is to say one sounds more educated than another? Many
of our prejudices and misconceptions about language are just not logical.
Have your say on your dialect and language
from the Fast Show
A typical view of someone with a distinctive dialect?
Bunch of country bumpkins? Now it is your chance to have
a say about your local accent. Its also an opportunity to express
views on other accents, how you think men and women talk differently or
if youd like to hear a greater variety of accents on BBC television
The project wants to hear from people in Gloucestershire
to ensure that the regional vocabulary, the words and phrases which are
unique to this area, are included in the research.
Why not fill in the Voices questionnaire online and help
provide a clear picture of the diverse languages and dialects that can
be found in Britain today. Click
here for the questionnaire
Wicked, Safe and
Sick!, from Gloucester, Gloucestershire
in the Forest, from Cinderford, Gloucestershire