Halesowen primary bans Black Country dialect - time for an elocution lesson

Janet Downs's picture

“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”
You must learn correct pronunciation,
Erase your accent – those vowels give pain,
So speak up - practise enunciation.

Those aspirated aitches, glottal stops,
They show, no doubt, that you’re from the gutter.
Do you want to spend life slaving in shops?
Oxbridge won’t have those who grunt and stutter.

So “offen” NOT “ofTEN”; no “roime”, say “rhyme”;
Your mangled words will show your low station.
Our English tongue is a language sublime,
Obey the rules, or risk denigration.

Professor, please tell me, if I say class –
it rhymes with ass? Or does it sound like arse?

CORRECTION 16 November 2013. The original headline said "Birmingham primary bans Brummy dialect".   I should have known better.  Roger (see below) has pointed out that a Brummy accent wouldn't be heard in the Black Country.  And Birmingham isn't the same as the Black Country.  So I've changed the headline. 

Black Country MP Tom Watson says there should be a Black Country day - an annual celebration.  Jody Ball agrees:

"o, ar, we do have a lot to be proud of in the Black Country and being a 'yam yam' is bostin. I think a massive parade showcasing the chuffed people of the region, maybe teaching a few visitors what's what when it comes to our dialect is on the cards. You cor resist. Bring on the fust Black Country day it will be the gab of the region you wo resist having a good loff."

The question is, would the Halesowen primary school take part?

This was published  in response the "Midlands primary school bans pupils from using Black Country Accent" in the Daily Telegraph.

It was inspired by Tony Harrison’s poem, Them And [Uz].   Tony reads his poem here.




Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Be notified by email of each new post.

Add new comment

Already a member? Click here to log in before you comment. Or register with us.