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Bring Back Received Pronunciation

1 Comment 9th July 2010

Reintroduce Received Pronunciation for Broadcasting Services principle speakers.

Why does this matter?

The purpose of language is to communicate – that is, to understand one another. Regional variation (i.e. dialect) is simply (or sometimes not so simply) a variation on a language, evolved from isolation. If we are to communicate accurately, then we should preferably all speak the same language, and the same dialect. Regional dialects as they existed 50 years ago have largely disappeared as a result of radio and television, and those that remain are a pale shadow of the former dialects. The current trend for UK broadcasting services to dispense with Received Pronunciation in favour of regional accents as they now exist does not really aid in communication, although it may serve to produce a further evolved from of spoken english that will replace our current version. Given the often lamentable english that one nowadays hears spoken, and sees written, I think that there is a strong argument for reintroducing Received Pronunciation, as a means of bettering communication. BBC English, as it came to be known, was a clear, concise way of speaking, that left little room for misunderstanding, but is now only practised by a few BBC stalwarts (arguably the more easily understood stalwarts).

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One Response to Bring Back Received Pronunciation

  1. Ms L Templar says:

    I was born in the south of England and moved to the East Midlands in later life. No problems. Received pronunciation was still the norm. Nowadays, RP has been abandoned and every tv programme is introduced by someone with such a thick regional accent that I can only understand one word in five. Often, whole programmes have been given a regional voice-over so unintelligable that I have to turn off the sound and opt for subtitles.
    It is farcical to imagine that everyone who lives in a certain region was born and brought up there. RP was understood by everyone. Nowadays the idea seems to be that unless you are a native of a certain region you needn’t bother turning the tv on because your needs are not catered for.

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