The power of an accent




Outfit:
Faux leather jacket with fur collar: New Look (similar)
Polka dot midi dress: Zara (similar)
Black leather ankle boots: ASOS (similar)
Teal mini rucksack: Mulberry (similar)

I read something - don't ask me where as I never remember - that in the UK you can tell a lot about someone by the way they speak. You can tell their education, upbringing, region and class. You can pinpoint what region they're from just by the way they pronounce their words. How you're judged by peers can depend on your accent. This particular article by Faiza Shaheen after TV presenter Adam Boulton mocked her east London twang struck a cord with me. How dare he mock her for the way she speaks?

I was born and bred in Essex  - and I sound like it. When I'm around family and friends, I get lazy and drop my Ts, use shortened words and slang that sometimes doesn't sound like it comes from the English Language. When I meet someone new, I start talking like someone I don't even recognise. I pronounce my words more clearly and speak 'proper' because god forbid someone tells me that I sound like I'm from Essex. I have a completely different accent at work then I do at home. My dad once phoned me up at work and asked me 'why was I speaking like that? It didn't even sound like me...'

But why is this? I'm not ashamed of where I come from, I'm fiercely proud my working class roots and being an Essex girl. My parents have grafted over the years and taught me to never be afraid of a bit of hard work in order to achieve what you want. But yet I change my accent depending on who I am with. I hate the thought that someone will automatically judge the type of person I am. I've heard the sneers and jokes when I mention where I'm from more times than I can count. It's got to the point of almost reversed snobbery as when I'm introduced to someone with a cut glass accent, I sound almost like a parody of myself, almost daring them to judge me. We can have all the intelligence in the world and the best education yet we will always be judged on our accents.

It's odd isn't it? The power of an accent? We are all quite attached to how we speak, believing it to help keep a tie to where we're from. When I'm abroad my accent is even stronger as if I'm self-consciously trying to hang onto my Essex roots despite the fact I'm thousands of miles away from home. Shouldn't we be proud of the multiple regional accents we have all over the U.K? An accent should be a celebration of our roots, not used as a weapon to make us feel small and unworthy.


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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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