Apparently Chancellor George Osborne has changed his accent in a desperate attempt to appear less upper-class. I spotted him in Rome once at one of my favourite trattorie, we asked the waiters if they knew who he was. They did. He hadn’t left a tip.
Anyway, back to the loss of his posh accent and his lack of respect for working people. At a recent speech given at a Morrisons supermarket (and you can’t get more Bradfordian or working class than Morrisons), he said “wanna” instead of want to, said “Bridish” rather than British and tweny. Why do politicians go to Morrisons to make their announcements? “It gives them a chance to tell low paid workers that it’s all their fault.” As usual, Paul Merton tells it like it is.
Thankfully, Osborne wasn’t actually in Bradford as the prospect of him attempting a Yorkshire accent is horrifying.
Even though I love a Yorkshire accent, and most surveys agree it’s the friendliest accent in the UK, I really don’t think people from Bradford should be allowed on the television/radio. As an example of my own failings, an Italian boy (who I taught three years ago) had the following line in the Christmas play, “My mum says…” However, he pronounced it, “Me mum ses…” I didn’t realise, it had to be pointed out to me by his current teacher. All my fault. Another Italian child in my class spelt dreadful ‘dreatful’ recently in a spelling test, do you think my Bratford accent is affecting their English? Poor. (and don’t even get me started on how many ways that can be pronounced in the North).
But what is worse than the Bradford accent, is people who think they can “do” it. Yes, we don’t pronounce or say “the” very often, but soft southerners should really refrain from attempting to imitate us. You never, EVER, get it right. But it’s funny (foony) watching you try.
My Italian is still not really good enough to hear the difference between the many and various Italian accents. The Roman accent for example, nunse po’ fa’ instead of non si può fare (it is not possible to do), cuts off the last letters of the words and drags out other sounds.I’m told that the Roman accent is comparable with Newcastle for its impossibility to understand. Looks like I’m in the right place then.