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Newsletter - August 2007


Aren't we posh?"

As August is the silly season, with people jetting off to sunnier climes, I thought I'd be a little more controversial than normal.

The title sentence was uttered to me, but for others to hear at the start of a conversation where I had no time to adopt the grammatical register of the group.

My answer was to say "We? don't you mean me? ...How do you know I'm posh?" to which the answer was "Cos of the way you speak".

My reply to that was: "The way I speak has differences to being posh; Would you like to know how to "speak posh"?"

Blank faces. I explained further.

"In my profession as a speaker, trainer, coach, mentor etc. I take responsibility to be understood by my delegates etc. I have no time, place or inclination to be posh or snobby. They may come from different parts of the country or the globe, so I adopt the register of 'Received Pronounciation (RP) - speech that used to be known as 'BBC English', Standard UK English or even Oxford English. The latter gives the origin - people coming together to a place of learning to discuss ideas in a common version of language that they can all understand."

"Actually, I continued, I have an accent, albeit faint, that deviates from true RP. I say Nowth rather than North (same vowel sound) and Ga'wick rather than Gatwick because I come from the South East where a glottal stop (') is used instead of a 't' in the middle of the word. A friend smiles whenever I say illustrate, as I pronounce the u as in bugle rather than as in tub.

However, I don't yet say: anything can be well good, I prefer to use very good. I'll say everything and not everyfink. Nor do I pronounce an 'a' as a y as in bysically - this is 'Estuary' English or 'Mockney'. (I'nn'it)".

"Now being posh means that they also deviate from Received Pronounciation. Boris Johnson is a fine example of such a speaker. Now; here's how to speak 'posh':

1. ou becomes i. So you live in a hice with plenty of grind.
"Nice trisers old boy"

2. a becomes or as in Mdchen or prte: As in "I'll be bck!" or, "You hve such a lovely ht!" Preferably with a touch of a y toward the beginning of the , almost Hyt.

3. The o is elelongated to or as in "it's gorn owf."

4. The ey at the end of words: remove the y and substitute an a. as in "Crikea!" "I say; not liklea!"

5. i becomes ah. as "Ahm sorry; Ah've never been to Indiyah"

6. Use 'bad' adverbs/adjectives as good ones viz:
Frightfully good of you to come... Awfully nice bloke... you see, I'm not really posh at all; not even snobby; I want to be understood by the people with whom I'm communicating. Instead...

...I'm proud to be, RP!"

More soon!



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