Monday, August 13, 2007

Scots politicians lose their accents

From yesterday's Scotland on Sunday:
A study of the speech of major political figures has shown that senior Scots at Westminster have changed their accents to sound more akin to their English counterparts - dropping their pronounced Rs and changing their vowels.

Those who have altered their speech include Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Tory Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and Lib-Dem leader Menzies Campbell.
But there is one figure who has stood out against this process: Alex Salmond has not changed his accent despite two decades in the Commons.

Music fans will know about this. The Proclaimers issued their first LP - This is the Story - in 1987. It included the track "Throw the 'R' Away":
I'm just going to have to learn to hesitate
To make sure my words
On your Saxon ears don't grate
But I wouldn't know a single word to say
If I flattened all the vowels
And threw the 'R' away


Anonymous said...

I find that on my annual holiday to family in Gateshead I very quickly lapse into a Geordie accent without meaning to. That is despite having lived in London and Oxfordshire all my life and speaking with what is often seen as a 'common' accent most of the time. It's quite normal to adapt to other people's ways when in their area, positively polite, I'd say.

Martin said...

Wow, really interesting! Concious or subconcious you think?