Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What is Received English? Janette Miller

Received English. 

Who speaks it these days. I do but I am one of the last to do so.
The UK has lots of regional accents but the strangest of all is known as Received English which foxes everyone. It is the typical BBC English which is going out of fashion but it what I speak. In my day you had and it is "strange"!
I have only just found out.
You have to learn this accent. In my day it was taught in schools. It hides brilliantly your social class and in a class-ridden country like UK this is very useful.
Today Received English is taught in language schools and weirdly many expats children who never set foot in UK speak it too. Richard E Grant is one and Freddie Mercury. It is absolutely impossible to tell which class they belong to.
So does my accent hide my class? Yes it does. To a lower-class person I sound "posh" but to aristocrats they cannot place me, they know by the way I say "often" and "cat" I am not one of them but am I upper-middle or working class? I could be either.
So what am I? I am not sure. I was raised in what I thought was a middle-class household but my grandfathers were of the people who rose from the working class and to succeed both families spoke "Received English". I am me! 
Possibly "Trade" which was unfashionable, did not do to be a banker but now is very fashionable. Both the working and upper classes look down on "Trade"
So now you know.

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