Conversation in Salford about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.
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BBC Voices Recordings
Salford, Greater Manchester
Danielle, 1987 Nov. 19- (speaker, female, student), Hanbridge, Hayley, 1987 May 27- (speaker, female, Hotchkiss, Kirsty, 1987 May 31- (speaker, female, Kelly, 1988 July 06- (speaker, female, King, Paul, 1987 March 25- (speaker, male, Scattergood, Jak, 1986 Nov. 23- (speaker, male
Kearsley, Gill, 1968 Jan. 09- (speaker, female)
[00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Comment that speaker uses old-fashioned phrases for comic effect. Mention that speakers would say phrase that means opposite of what they intend to say because theyre teenagers and want to create their own language for themselves, way of rebelling/being different, understand each other because they all do it. Meaning and use of teenage words: safe/sorted/mint/sick/scrote, vary with geographical area and situation. Discussion of language used on internet; text language, sometimes accidentally use it in essays.[00:08:52] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Story of playing truant from school for so long he missed it. Explanation of difference between wagging it and blagging it, both meaning to play truant. Comment that sick is used in many different contexts with different meanings. Remark that word meaning to play a game varies depending on the game being played.[00:13:30] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Remark that clothing brands are often used to refer to individual items of clothing/shoes to advertise that the item is branded, for example Miss Sixty jeans. Comment that words and phrases vary geographically, girl from Rochdale says twos me up on that instead of save me half a cig. Discussion of words used to describe underwear as opposed to trousers. Anecdote about girl who used to chew the rubber bottom off her pumps at primary school. Description of pumps worn at school for physical education when speakers were young compared with trainers worn by children now.[00:18:21] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Dispute over meaning of ambidextrous. Explanation of difference between unattractive female and scrubber. Meaning and pronunciation of hanging used to mean unattractive. Discussion of pronunciation of Ts. Story of friend speaking with London accent and using London slang after living there for a while. Anecdote about looking out for lads with most money at bar when out with friends. Comment that girls are more likely to use pregnant because its more respectful to the pregnant woman than some other terms with same meaning, men use more codified terms, dispute over which is more mature. Dispute over relative offensiveness of cow and bitch, discussion of sexist language.[00:29:10] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Comment that mam sounds common. Discussion of reasons for using various words to mean mother. Different words used to differentiate between maternal and paternal grandmother. Discussion of grandmothers preferences for terms used to refer to them, some make them sound/feel old. Comment that grandad and nana are the most commonly used words for grandfather and grandmother. Remark that female speakers would prefer to be referred to as girlfriend but know that boys call them bird/bitch behind their back. Comment that local slang isnt really represented on television, speaker finds it funny when character on Coronation Street mispronounces words that young people use. Discussion of definitions of various words that could be used to describe young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery, clothes that they would wear, comment that trendy clothing isnt cheap. Shopping at Primark, importance of wearing branded clothes, labels that are currently in fashion, some musicians have brought out their own clothing lines. How people treat you if you wear non-branded clothes, branded clothing becomes more important at sixth form college where you dont wear school uniform. Comment that he would rather wear clothes that no one else wears, describes his style as a mad own trend. Discussion of different meanings of tools and tooled up.[00:45:33] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Mention influence of Peter Kay (comedian) on words used to describe light rain. Comment that every room in speakers house has a television in it, description of speakers houses and what each room is used for, varies according to time of day, some speakers have main room for adults to use and more relaxed main room for children and their friends. Discussion of being allowed to go into various bedrooms, trying to find Christmas presents hidden in house before Christmas Day, family Christmas present-giving traditions. Difference in meaning of ginnel and alley, when each would be used.[00:55:07] Discussion of speakers attitudes to their own accent, dont notice it, if you change it youre not being true to yourself, related to upbringing, discussion of Salford accent. Family are scousers so he speaks differently depending on who hes talking to, chooses slang words to ensure people understand him. Comment that people would notice if he tried to speak normal or formal in job interview; she would prefer to talk to someone using slang than speaking poshly, can relate to them more. Discussion of what people outside Salford think of Salford accent, think they look down on them but speakers arent bothered by that, dont want to change speech for anyone else, its who they are. People are prejudiced but dont think it changes what speakers do, still going to university. Comment that accent is affected more by school than upbringing. Mention fake telephone voices used by mothers, finds it funny. Description of reactions to finding out speakers are from Salford, people imitate accent, story of being told not to write Salford as place of birth on job application, put Manchester and got the job, think that kind of discrimination isnt fair because you cant help where youre born. Stories of sisters criticising speakers accents after changing their own for various reasons. Comment that people discriminate and imitate because they dont understand Salford accent, speaker thinks it isnt totally his fault he speaks the way he does, if he didnt like it he would change it. Discussion of where speakers would say theyre from when asked, in another city might say Manchester but would be more specific in Manchester itself. Story of American liking speakers accent, can hear accent on recordings of themselves or in comparison with other people who have different accent. Discussion of influence of texting on language, use of abbreviations, mother thinks shes dead hip because she uses them too, affects written language more than speech.
All six interviewees are sixth-form students at Pendleton College. BBC warning: this interview contains language which some may find offensive. Recording made for BBC Voices project of a conversation guided by a BBC interviewer. The conversation follows a loose structure based on eliciting opinions about accents, dialects, the words we use and people's attitude to language.