Acute accent issues

Increasing geographic mobility has been a feature of our workforce over the past 50 years (from both within and outside our country). ONS data shows unsurprisingly that the group most likely to have moved between local authority areas within the past 5 years is those in their 20s; whereas the most transitional area is London and the South East. In particular, those with higher educational attainment / those in skilled occupations were more likely to fall within this group. So how do these young upwardly mobile movers adapt to their new environment? According to a poll of office workers by 4com, many apparently fake their accent. The poll suggests that 35% of Londoners (and a similar percentage of Glaswegians) modify their accent at work to sound more professional. Brummies were the least likely to adapt. The days of received pronunciation are over; however, the poshness of one’s accent can be a very relative phenomenon. To me, Mrs P. sounds a bit like a cross between Kylie Minogue and Madge Ramsay (alcohol dependent). However, having lived in London for more than 10 years, her friends back in Aus tell her that she now speaks like the Queen. Meanwhile, as someone who grew up in ‘ull, I always considered an example of a posh accent to be someone from Leeds.