Conversation in Middlesbrough about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.
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BBC Voices Recordings
Abd, Amir, 1984 July 17- (speaker, male, unemployed), Allport, Daniel, 1983 Sept. 08- (speaker, male, Robinson, Keith, 1981 Feb. 26- (speaker, male
Allport, Sue, 1962 March 26- (speaker, female)
[00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves, describe how they met. Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Comment that words used for hot are all cooking related terms.[00:04:07] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Description of clothes they wear on a night out, different clothes they wore when younger. Description of chavs and bag-heads, their appearance, what they do and the way that they speak. Clothes they wore for physical education at school.[00:08:04] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Comment that his mother is a legend.[00:10:39] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Comment that the whole point of going out is getting drunk, description of a typical night out.[00:16:52] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Comment that pissed has lots of different meanings but is understood correctly by others because of the context its used in. Mention phrases used to mean going to the toilet.[00:19:42] Discussion about attitudes towards girls who use swear words. Description of growing up speaking both English and Arabic. Comment that they learnt more about language and life on the street than at school, how they would react to cheeky children in the street now that theyre older; description of how they used to behave as children, attitude towards older people who criticise younger generation; pressures on young people today compared with in the past.[00:28:59] Description of growing up on Ayresome Street, Middlesbrough, how it has changed over time. Description of moving from Redcar to Middlesbrough aged eleven, difficulties of adjusting to new area, differences between the two towns, anecdote about eating fish fingers and chips together when young, moving from primary to senior school. Comment that as children they used to ridicule people with the kind of hairstyle they have now.[00:37:44] Discussion about language used to describe race. Mention growing up in Arabic family in racist area of Middlesbrough, comment that despite being very mixed overall, the residential areas of Middlesbrough are racially segregated. Discussion about racist attitudes.[00:42:44] Description of playing football a lot as children, how they lost their skills as they grew up and their lifestyle changed. Discussion about smoking, effects of anti-smoking adverts. Attitudes towards Tony Blair, British politics, the British monarchy, American politics, the British voting system, voter apathy, disillusionment with New Deal courses and being on the dole.[00:57:11] Discussion about what they would like to see change in society to help them with their future, the negative effects of the current social system, how the school system didnt help them. Comment that college didnt suit him so he will never have a great job.
All three interviewees are neighbours in Middlesbrough. BBC warning: this interview contains strong or offensive language throughout. 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.