Have you noticed how the accents of most Northern Ireland broadcasters are far more Anglified than ever before? What was once a James Young joke about the posh people of Cherryvalley is slowly becoming an everyday experience on the local media. Maybe its just that Im longer in the tooth now and tend to notice these things, but and Im doing my best not to name names and get into trouble there are particular local broadcasters who nowadays sound far more English than I ever remember before.

Now, as many of you know, my wife is English, and being convinced of the merits of Unionism I hope you picked up the source of that reference in bold, I have absolutely no problem with English people speaking with English accents. Or Northern Ireland folk who have spent time away from here and return with a hybrid accent. What gets my goat is Northern Ireland folk denying their own roots and pretending to be English, or even Anglo-Irish, in their speech. Fiona touched on similar themes in this recent post on her blog.

How-now-brown-cow, softened rs, eight being pronounced as ayt instead of ee-it, even a simple inoffensive word like well has the vowel softened to become a kind of waaaal… just listen to your radio and tv tomorrow, particularly the current affairs coverage, and youll hear loads of examples of this. The vast majority of Northern Ireland folk I know dont talk like this, so why do broadcasters feel that they need to?

Perhaps its a sign of a major class divide? Does everyone who lives in a posh place speak with a posh accent? Does it come as a package along with the three cars, the Donegal weekend hideaway and the annual holiday in Tuscany / Lake Garda / this years fashionable destination?

If its not okay to speak with a fairly standard Northern Ireland accent I know there are varieties within Northern Ireland, but you know rightly what Im generally talking about then what chance is there for the next generation to ever hear, or feel a fondness for, the simplest elements of Ulster-Scots vocabulary and speech? When did you last hear Aye for yes or wee for little on mainstream UTV or BBC programmes – except from listeners who had phoned the show and were on air?

Sim leowcahl broadcahstaahs seem to think thet they operayte on a raatha highaa playne then the rist of us meeah moahtils. Heres a similar post from 18 months ago.

true


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