BBC Voices

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

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  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Sevenoaks, Kent

  • Interviewees

    Llewellyn-Jones, Patricia, 1941 Feb. 19- (speaker, female, interviewee), Madderson, Jane, 1946 Feb. 02- (speaker, female, housewife), Turner, Sarah, 1943 Feb. 18- (speaker, female), Collard, Estelle, 1936 Oct. 02- (speaker, female), Gracey, Sarah, 1940 March 29- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Burn, Jo, 1965 Feb. 19- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Kent

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Description of local golf clubs. Speakers describe their own accents, how their family and where they have lived has affected them. Dont think they have an accent, comment that everyone probably thinks this of themselves. Story of noticing different accents spoken by farm labourers and gardener as child, difficult to understand. Mention speakers boarding school education. Discussion of deliberately changing accent, being corrected by parents. Story of adopting a Rhodesian accent when at school there because speaker was teased for being English, father cross about it when she went home in holidays. Description of features of Midland accent that speaker has retained from childhood, comment that its difficult to detect this herself. New speaker introduces herself, describes how she got involved in golf, her education. Comment that speakers are very local, have lived there all or most of their lives.[00:10:04] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. How weather affects playing golf. Comment that different words used for main room of house depending on size of house. Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Different words used to differentiate between maternal and paternal grandparents. Comment that speakers dont use judgmental names for young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery so much anymore, more likely to accept them. Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Words used to describe EMOTIONS. Discussion of politeness of knackered. Comment that their language is influenced by London slang, including rhyming slang, because of its close proximity to where they live.[00:25:46] Discussion of how playing golf is affected by the weather, etiquette of cancelling games. Description of what speakers wear to keep warm when playing golf in the cold, how this affects their game, dress code for women on golf course. Speaker describes what she is wearing for golf at time of interview. Comment that people generally obey the dress code but it isnt as strict now as it used to be anyway. Remark that jeans and trainers are definitely not allowed. Comment that clothes worn for golf would also be worn at other times, though one speaker wouldnt go shopping in golf clothes, especially those with emblems. Mention how to qualify for the first golf team. Discussion of words used to describe different types of golfers and how they would be used. Story of how speaker got into playing golf. Discussion of recent changes in golf clubs with regards to the status of women, women are now equal members though there are still more men than women. Comment that gender specific areas of the club are now mixed though female speaker still finds it difficult to go into old mens bar. Discussion of how much time speakers devote to golf, more in summer. Remark that it is possible to play with anyone because of the handicap system. Discussion of speakers careers, how playing golf fits in.[00:38:40] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Comment that speakers would never throw the ball when playing golf. Discussion of words used to describe hitting golf ball and what they mean. Comment that most speakers never dared to play truant from school as children. Story of running away from boarding school, her fathers reaction, wasnt allowed back to school. Stories of liking/disliking time spent at boarding school. Speakers children also went to boarding school but her grandchildren probably wont because its too expensive. Comment that it was more appropriate to send children away to school in the past, perhaps now better for them to be near home. Story of attending finishing school in Switzerland, what speaker learnt there. Attending domestic science school in Sussex, what was taught there, a useful preparation for married life. Mention going to secretarial college. Comment that it wasnt expected that they would have a career, some schoolfriends did but the choice was very limited, today you can do anything. Mention that there werent so many visa restrictions in the past, you could travel and work anywhere as a secretary. Story of travelling in Canada and United States when younger, how it was funded. Description of luggage taken on trip: twelve white, matching suitcases including hat-box, finds it amusing now, took them on a Greyhound bus all the way around United States. Discussion of how travel differs today, same speaker travelled more recently and took only one rucksack.[00:53:20] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. What speakers consider constitutes being rich now. Story of speakers next door neighbour owning his own helicopter, considered to be rich. Comment that Sevenoaks is a wealthy area though not everyone there is well off. Discussion of whether pissed is considered a swear word these days, whether speakers like it, let their children use it. Comment that speakers children use words she doesnt understand, particularly in conversations with each other. Remark that if someone was medically insane these days a polite word would be used to describe their condition properly. Comment that writing with left hand looks cack-handed, it doesnt look easy. Stories of being described as posh, dont think they are, dislike the word, consider it to be almost insulting, think it means trying to be something youre not. Speaker doesnt consider herself to have an accent, has been well-educated, is lucky, has confidence that the way she behaves naturally is the right way to behave in any situation. Comment that education and upbringing has given speakers confidence in using language to express themselves clearly so that other people understand them. Remark that modern television programmes dont help the attitudes of people and the way they speak, presenters speak with different accents now instead of BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) English. Story of American tourists not thinking speaker was English because of her accent [recording cuts off during story at 01:05:49].

  • Description

    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 five interviewees are all members of a golf club near Sevenoaks.

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