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Free firty (3:30) - is this an accent or ignorant speak?

(176 Posts)
giulia Tue 26-Sep-17 06:38:42

On another thread, W11girl told of a British continuity person who spoke like this in order to announce the time of a BBC programme. She said that when many viewers complained, the BBC defended itself by saying it supported the use of "different and varying accents". Now I am asking: is such a way of speaking to be considered as an accent or is it simply "ignorant speak"? I am not referring here to many foreigners who have difficulty with the "th" sound - the French say "zz", for example and this just adds charm to their accent.

BBbevan Tue 26-Sep-17 06:43:10

Just laziness I think.

M0nica Tue 26-Sep-17 06:56:53

Or a speech impediment. My sister and an aunt always had a discernible problem with pronouncing the letter 'r'

MissAdventure Tue 26-Sep-17 07:00:42

Its the normal way of speaking where I'm from, although I do try not to. I don't write that way though, so, not sure how it should be categorised.

Imperfect27 Tue 26-Sep-17 07:33:24


Have taught so many children that 'Yes, we sometimes say ... but we need to write ...'

MissAdventure Tue 26-Sep-17 07:39:34

I fink you're right! wink

Imperfect27 Tue 26-Sep-17 07:41:20

I fink so too grin

Greyduster Tue 26-Sep-17 07:43:38

I heard one of the contestants on this week's University Challenge introduce himself by saying he was studying for a Doc'trate in Maffs. ?‍♀️ My heart sank. You hear it so much these days that I find it hard to believe that that many people could have a speech impediment! We had a voice message on our surgery answerphone where a female voice is saying "we will be wiv you shortly". I noticed recently she has been replaced. I would prefer to think that such people did have speech impediments, rather than that they simply can't be arsed to treat our language with respect, and all want to sound like Nigel Kennedy.

Pittcity Tue 26-Sep-17 07:49:25

I say "free firty" and I was born in "Walfamstow".
I would pronounce the "th" if I was a TV announcer though.
It's a local trait that needs a conscious effort to change.

MissAdventure Tue 26-Sep-17 07:53:17

So, much the same as anyone from any area, if they wanted to speak "the queen's English".
I'm hoping we are past all that.

loopyloo Tue 26-Sep-17 07:53:28

We are judged by how we speak. It's a society where class still counts. The Mayor of London doesn't pronounce "ing " properly. But he seems like a good guy.

Nannarose Tue 26-Sep-17 08:18:03

I was brought up in a rather obscure part of England, the school teachers told us that our local accent was 'lazy' and our local dialect was 'wrong / ignorant'.

I have since lived in 3 other parts of England, each with distinct local accents, and another one with a dialect. Every time I heard exactly the same complaint 'Oh, other areas have nice accents, here it's just laziness'. One person, hearing me let slip a dialect word, told me 'oh the accent where you are from is so much nicer than here'.

I am now back on my own turf, and historians from the local university want to hear our accent and dialect (which I lost along the way in order to make myself understood by strangers)

So I realised, it'a a class thing,and now, when I slip back into my own accent, (it comes and goes!) it reminds me of family who loved and cared for me, and whose 'laziness' or 'ignorance' didn't stop them from being better educated and wiser than those who would put them down.

Greyduster Tue 26-Sep-17 08:24:35

I am not batting for Queen's English - I can't claim to speak it myself - and I am not in the least denigrating anyone whose local dialect supports these small linguistic anomalies, but they must not be promoted as a norm by institutions such as the BBC, otherwise how are children - and foreigners trying to get to grips with English - supposed to know how the language should sound?

harrigran Tue 26-Sep-17 08:38:15

I think it is a lazy and ignorant way to speak and when I hear people talking this way I am afraid I stop listening.

polyester57 Tue 26-Sep-17 08:45:35

I am a teacher of linguistics. A language develops all the time. If people say "free firty", you´re not going to stop them saying it. Even the foreigners will have to get used to it. It may be that in the years to come, people won´t even know how it was said originally. Spoken English is such a fluid language, recently, I came across some recordings that the Germans made during WW1 with English-speaking prisoners of war. You´d be surprised, I could hardly understand them.

downtoearth Tue 26-Sep-17 08:56:52

'fraid I'm a free firty gel an all grew up in Barking sowaddyamakeathatthen...translated
What do you make of that then.
In times of stress or great excitement,I revert to this way of speaking.

MissAdventure Tue 26-Sep-17 09:02:56

I expect a lot of immigrants will learn the same kind of speech patterns too, given the areas where they live. It'll be everywhere, innit?

Teetime Tue 26-Sep-17 09:04:07

I agree the sound of this 'lazy speech' is ugly but what worries me more is how swearing has become the norm especially the F word. My BIL a retired ex teacher told us his oldest son Fs all the time but we have to accept that's how young people speak!!!! I cant accept it and if said Nephew says it in my hearing he will get a Lady Bracknell type response!

TerriBull Tue 26-Sep-17 09:17:48

Apart from anything else it sounds so babyish. I had to pull one of my sons up continually during his teen years for saying "fink" drove me mad angry Where's Professor Higgins when you need him?

whitewave Tue 26-Sep-17 09:25:36

Sa-erday grrr!

whitewave Tue 26-Sep-17 09:26:41

Words which end in g and the speaker doesn't pronounced it. Pretty Patel is soooo bad at that - double grrr!!!!!!

Greyduster Tue 26-Sep-17 09:35:41

He's looking for his damned slippers, TerriBull! grin

varian Tue 26-Sep-17 09:49:43

Three thirty is pronounced free firty by some folk around London, but the posher ones say three thaahty. The Irish might say tree tirty, but most Scots would say three thirty.

annsixty Tue 26-Sep-17 09:55:24

Do you remember,fir'y fousand fevers on a frush?
Which then had to pronounced very slowly and correctly and repeated over and over.
I have a Derbyshire accent but f for th was never me.

gillybob Tue 26-Sep-17 10:10:59

In a very rare bid to sound funny/clever or to try and impress the grandchildren, DH asked them "what they would all like for Trit-Mus"?

DGS (7) looked at him puzzled and said "granddad, Trit-Mus is what babies say.... its CCCCCCChriSSSTTTTMAs "

DH looked quite deflated.