A couple of weeks ago Alice Bachini wrote about accents. She made the point that accents can affect the way people behave.
If you’re used to a loud, swearing-laden, metaphorically-poor, mostly monosyllabic, heavily generalising, strongly expressive of emotional negativity but weak when it comes to finding any words for “happiness” or any kind of sensitive or gentle human interaction kind of dialect, the whole world seems different than if you speak the language of an Upper-Class Englishman. When you talk to people, they are responding to an entirely different set of inexplicit ideas inherently buried in your language (and I don’t just mean their own prejudices and associations- that’s not it at all, as I mentioned above- it’s the real inexplicit content, I’m talking about).
And in this weekend’s Spectator, Theodore Dalrymple says that bad pronunciation is being encouraged by the middle classes to keep the poor in their place.
These things matter to me. I hate my accent as it is a ‘crocodile hunter’ which I worry will have people associating me with Steve Irwin.
On the Internet, no one knows you are a dog; or a hick from Dingo-Woop-Woop. I like this.