BBC Voices

Conversation in Kidderminster about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Kidderminster, Worcestershire

  • Interviewees

    Jones, Godfrey, 1945 July 01- (speaker, male, carpet weaver), Mathews, Roger, 1935 Aug. 18- (speaker, male, carpet production manager), Thompson, Melvyn, 1937 May 08- (speaker, male, engineer in carpet industry), White, Ronald, 1931 May 08- (speaker, male, retired union official)

  • Interviewers

    Hollings, John, 1940 May 07- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    Radio Hereford and Worcester

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Discussion about use of swear words and attitudes towards swearing, how this has changed over time, swearing in the carpet industry, swearing at football matches, changing their speech in different situations/when talking to different people.[00:10:30] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Being physically disciplined at school when they were young.[00:14:39] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS.[00:18:00] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Mention sibs/trotters used by colleague in past to mean fingers.[00:20:47] Discussion about how speech varies locally, Kidderminster accent, Stourbridge accent, Black Country accent, Bewdley speech. Discussion about their own speech, how other people react to their accent, bad Kidderminster, various features of Kidderminster speech. How local dialect has changed due to increased mobility over time, regional accents they like. Mention rivalry between two sides of Bewdley in past.[00:28:45] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention words used to mean father, deliberately mispronouncing words/using wrong words for fun.[00:35:03] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Description of various toilets used in past. Discussion about people having multiple televisions in their house these days, children using modern technology, how this compares to technology available in past.[00:43:55] Description of grandfathers job as a woodsman in Bewdley many years ago, catching rabbits with him, grandmother skinning rabbits. Anecdote about grandfather shooting starlings in cherry tree on local estate when working as warden in summertime. Memories of life in the past: phrase used by grandmother, eating rabbit stew, taking in evacuees from Birmingham, seeing a banana for the first time aged eight, parents running fish and chip shop in Bewdley during Second World War, food they used to eat, Monday wash-day.[00:54:48] Description of what local area was like in past, activities they used to do as children, how life is different for children today. Anecdote about a dog race that turned into a dog fight. How society has changed in their lifetime, memories of their childhood: the night Coventry was bombed, learning about current affairs at school during Second World War.

  • Description

    BBC warning: this interview contains strong or offensive language. 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. The four interviewees are all ex-carpet industry employees.

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