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Poshism Speak

Are People Prejudice Against Upper Class Accents?

A researcher at BBC3 is researching for a short as a follow up to Julian Fellowes article about posh accents and his statement that:
“ toffs are the one remaining minority in Britain against which it is considered acceptable to discriminate.”

I was asked if I’d ever voice coached a person out of a posh accent.  My answer was yes, several times.  A posher accent is not the best accent in the world to have if you want to appeal to a mass audience of under 30s. People with upper class accents have always been easy prey.  Perhaps because a few of their number have been pompous and used the accent to big themselves up.
I was then asked the usual question “Would they come on the programme?”   No I wouldn’t think so and I couldn’t ask them anyway because all client information is confidential.

It isn’t hard to lose the too posh edge of an accent.  Dropping a few ‘ts’, going glottal even adopting ‘f’ instead of ‘th’ which has been done quite a lot in the last couple of years.  It helps the speaker to feel closer to street speak and makes rap talk easier.  Over time accents blend in anyway, unless you really make an effort to keep your original accent.  I really like Sara Cox’s accent.  She’s made an effort to hang on to it and it’s now slightly exaggerated, but it’s ebullient and fun and at least you know with Sara Cox that you’re getting the real thing.  In the meantime I’ve thought of a couple of people who I think I could ask ……..

Lord Fellowes
Lord Fellowes


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