Accents and what they say about us

From the people who speak with the Queen’s English to the infamous Geordies of the North-East, everybody has their own accent.

Hello anonymous patrons of the interwebs! This is TheTerminologyTitan with a post about accents and whether or not this can be used to indicate who they are.

I recently came across a statement from Mr Wyndham Lewis during one of my lectures. It went something like this: “The English working class are branded on the tongue.”

During that same lecture, I came across yet another statement. This one was by George Orwell and he said: “It should be impossible to determine someone’s status from their accent.”

There are many accents in the world that are unique to certain areas. These accents have their own kinds of prestige and cause people to think about the origin of the accent itself. For example: the Geordie accent is well known for being informal and unique. Unfortunately, it is a very common view that anyone who speaks with a Geordie accent is not quite as intelligent or educated as those who are from other regions and are usually associated with the working class. This is just what most people assume to be true (however, I myself am Geordie and I consider myself to be of reasonable intelligence).

The same applies to those who speak using the Queen’s English (also known as RP, BBC English etc.). Except, for them the opposite is true; they are considered to be far more intellectual and are usually associated with upper classes. This is not entirely true. Those who use RP can be of a lower intelligence than Geordies. This is not to say that all Geordies are intellectuals and all RP speakers are idiots however.

My point is that, while a person’s accent is an undeniable part of their culture, it doesn’t change what type of person they are. Certain cultures may have different beliefs or perspectives, but these are only a small part of who we are. Our personalities, our actions, our choices… Our accent simply cannot change these things. So to say that the average working class person is ‘branded on the tongue’ was most likely just a way that the upper classes tried to mock our ways of speaking. But I can’t exactly prove that so it is nothing more than mere speculation.

Nevertheless, we are who we are, and only we can decide who we are(my apologies for waxing philosophical). Who we chose to be should be decided by actions rather than words (get it?). Moving right along… To this extent, I have to agree with George Orwell’s statement. It is impossible for our accents to fully determine who we are.

Anyway, this is my own personal opinion and I’m very interested to hear any responses you may have to this. Its only fair right? You spent your time reading my opinion, I may as well read yours! If your opinion is the same as mine or if your own opinion differs, why not leave a comment? Start your own debate!

Thanks for reading!