Dan Smith
Particularly for UK natives--how would you describe Glynnis John's accent in this clip? I'm a U.S. native, and for the most part I don't notice shades of difference in UK accents unless they are extreme. This one is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow_zl3jyOPQ (right at the start of the clip) And how would you describe Valerie Hobson's, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgVzTDdp0Jg Is this "received pronunciation?" The movie is "The Card," 1952. It is set around 1900 in Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent. Johns' character is a middle class, social-climbing dancing teacher (who achieves her wish, eventually marrying someone with a title). I imagine she is trying to speak VERY correctly. Hobson's character is the Countess of Chell--a down-to-earth countess with a sense of humor. Hobson sounds within the range of normal, familiar accents.
Jul 22, 2014 2:36 PM
Answers · 3
I'd describe both of these as accents - and even voices - from a bygone age. Nobody apart from the Queen speaks like this any more. These are the very refined, precise voices of an earlier era, and they sound very alien to the modern British ear. There is no regional marker in either of them, because that is the whole point of upper class pronunciation - 'posh' is 'posh' wherever your stately home happens to be! These accents are separated from the average English pronunciation as much by time as they are by class. 'Received Pronunciation' is the standard 'correct' but neutral pronunciation which you would hear any time from a traditional BBC newsreader, for example. It's also classless. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, is from a privileged upper class background, but he speaks with a neutral RP accent, because he'd lose the vast proportion of his electorate if he spoke like the posh boy that he is.
July 22, 2014
I'm interested as well - both are upper-class accents, but I can't pick exactly where Johns' accent comes from. Interestingly, some of her vowels turn up in Australian and NZ English.
July 22, 2014
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