BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Ingatestone, Essex

  • Interviewees

    Arkell, John, 1953- (speaker, male, estate manager), Azeem, The Honorable Clare Helen, 1974- (speaker, female, interviewee), Petre, Dominic, 1967- (speaker, male), Petre, Lord John, 1943- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Clark, Ray, 1954 June 22- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    BBC Essex

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Explanation of believed origin of navy slang Harry redders meaning very hot, Harry can be put in front of anything to mean very. Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Word used for throw depends on the distance, height and speed of the throw. Comment that there are lots of navy-related words meaning to sleep because in that context sleep is at a premium. Explanation of Egyptian P.T. meaning to sleep, wouldnt be considered politically correct now.[00:14:57] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Comment that words used to mean clothes vary in different contexts. Plimsolls used deliberately to annoy youngsters because speaker knows that the modern word is trainers. Discussion of differences between plimsolls, sneakers, trainers and gym shoes. Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Political correctness of words that mean left-handed and when they would be used. Dispute over use of minging meaning unattractive, whether it can be used to describe men as well as women. Explanations of eight-pinter, L.R.F (low-resolution-fox) and Monet, all used to mean unattractive. Comment that Private Eye clichés such as tired and emotional meaning drunk are often self-consciously used in an ironic way but are not considered part of speakers vocabulary because they have been dragged from outside.[00:32:45] Continuation of discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Comment that peoples speech is less reserved now, in particular when talking about pregnancy, which is thought to cause some people to speak more pompously in reaction. Discussion of suggestion that pregnant began to be used in the sixties as part of the Womens Movement when abortion became more common in order to replace the more descriptive term having a baby. Comment that speaker hasnt heard having a baby used in normal speech for years, perhaps also in case something goes wrong with the pregnancy. Annoyance at use of we are pregnant by couples, thought to be a new man thing. Comment that the stigma of pregnancy has gone now, younger speakers generation wouldnt use a phrase like in trouble to mean pregnant. Discussion of definition of attractive, whether it means fanciable or not. Comment that mentalist is not very politically correct, has been popularised by comedy character Alan Partridge.[00:45:55] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Comment that different kinship terms are used for the same person in different contexts, whether addressing or referring to them. Some words for grandmother reflect childhood pronunciation of grandmother but were used by adults too and became long-term nicknames. Comment that the choice of word used for male/female partner is one of the great social pitfalls of our time so speaker uses partner or the persons name to avoid having to find the appropriate word for a particular relationship, its difficult even if you know the people involved. Discussion of definition of chav and the class-based assumptions that accompany it: going to boutiques but getting it wrong/having money but not knowing what to do with it. Comment on dislike of chav because its a word that has been imposed on us. Discussion of definition of spiv. Comment that men seem to use more euphemisms for their partner than women.[01:06:28] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Description of different rooms of the house and what they are called, defined by what they are used for and when. Discussion of euphemisms used when asking if someone wants to use the toilet or to say you need to use the toilet, including those used by the royal family. Speakers re-introduce and describe themselves as a group: not from a very closed community so no specifically defined internal jargon, but think that most groups would probably say the same.

  • Description

    All four interviewees are family members of Lord Petre of Ingatestone Hall and the estate manager. BBC compliance 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.

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