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Did you have elocution lessons ?

(89 Posts)
Floradora9 Sun 25-Sep-22 14:54:16

I have been listening to Miriam Margolis's biography and she mentioned having elocution lessons and was sad that they had changed her speaking voice . Did you have lessons ? I missed because I had singing lessons. I belonged to a small girls choir ( small as in a few of us only ) and my parents had to pay fees for the lessons. We would go out to entertain groups like the Rotary club but only in our own town . Miriam's mother took her all over England to compete in competitions in which she always came in the first three winners. I do not know of any children now who have these lessons just speech therapy for those who really require it .

Granmarderby10 Sun 25-Sep-22 18:17:07

Oldnproud I would pronounce theatre as theerter but perhaps it should be Thea-ter? ……or summat. Can’t you tell
I had elocution lessons at a private school (as well as ballroom dancing) ?

Callistemon21 Sun 25-Sep-22 18:20:08

Oldnproud

Callistemon21

I was teased because I didn't say "theatre" properly

I've pronounced theatre a certain way all my life but have doubted myself recently, listening to a friend from another part of the UK pronounce it differently to me.

I've tried, but cannot imagine more than one way to pronounce 'theatre'. Please help me out, as I probably say the wrong one grin

I tend to say it with a kind of sliding dipthong, my friend pronnces the 'e' and 'a' quite separately.

tanith Sun 25-Sep-22 18:20:30

No, I'm amazed how many of you did though.

Oldnproud Sun 25-Sep-22 18:24:07

Callistemon21

Oldnproud

Callistemon21

I was teased because I didn't say "theatre" properly

I've pronounced theatre a certain way all my life but have doubted myself recently, listening to a friend from another part of the UK pronounce it differently to me.

I've tried, but cannot imagine more than one way to pronounce 'theatre'. Please help me out, as I probably say the wrong one grin

I tend to say it with a kind of sliding dipthong, my friend pronnces the 'e' and 'a' quite separately.

I don't think I have ever heard it said as your friend says it - not in English, anyway!
You life and learn, as they say grin

Callistemon21 Sun 25-Sep-22 18:29:59

The-ay-tre.
I thought it might be her local dialect

Delila Sun 25-Sep-22 18:35:02

How do you pronounce medicine?

joannapiano Sun 25-Sep-22 18:37:10

It was pronounced Med-Son at the hospital where I worked. (Posh, in London.)

Mamie Sun 25-Sep-22 18:38:42

I used to say thee-et-ah, but at school was taught thea-ter almost as two syllables with the emphasis on the first. It was a vair posh school. ?

Greenfinch Sun 25-Sep-22 18:44:17

We had it as a class in the first year of secondary school. All I can remember is being taught to say lure as if it contained a y :lyure

nadateturbe Sun 25-Sep-22 18:45:01

We couldn't afford butter, so I think elocution lessons were out of the question.

biglouis Sun 25-Sep-22 18:50:38

I never had elocution lessons but I went to some lengths to rid myself of my Liverpool accent when I was teaching at a university because the international students would not have understood me! I now speak what is called "received" English but I can drop back into broad Liverpudlian when required. I sometimes have fun answering the phone or the doorbell in a "scouse" accent and pretending to be the housekeeper!

Oldnproud Sun 25-Sep-22 18:52:17

nadateturbe

We couldn't afford butter, so I think elocution lessons were out of the question.

grin

Yammy Sun 25-Sep-22 18:55:02

Fleurpepper

LOL no. But for kids from rural, and especially northern regions, passing the 11+ and going to Grammar School required them to change accent and even syntax, or they would be bullied mercilessly. Melvyn Bragg, who grew up in Lancashire explains that very well in his book on the English language.

Melvyn Bragg didn't grow up in Lancashire he grew up in a town called Wigton in West Cumberland and his parents had one of the local pubs The Blackamoor. He went to Nelson /Tomlinson Co-ed Grammar school in the town. One of my friends was there at the same time and our school played them at Rugby though he had left by the time I was there.

Fleurpepper Sun 25-Sep-22 18:59:03

Yammy

Fleurpepper

LOL no. But for kids from rural, and especially northern regions, passing the 11+ and going to Grammar School required them to change accent and even syntax, or they would be bullied mercilessly. Melvyn Bragg, who grew up in Lancashire explains that very well in his book on the English language.

Melvyn Bragg didn't grow up in Lancashire he grew up in a town called Wigton in West Cumberland and his parents had one of the local pubs The Blackamoor. He went to Nelson /Tomlinson Co-ed Grammar school in the town. One of my friends was there at the same time and our school played them at Rugby though he had left by the time I was there.

Apologies, that was from memory.

Makes no difference to the subject of this thread. Kids from rural areas were put under great pressure to speak 'proper' flat rp when going to Grammar School.

maddy47 Sun 25-Sep-22 18:59:19

I moved from Tipton in the Black Country at age 12 to Newcastle-under-Lyme and I was enrolled in the Orme Girls' School. I remember the interview with Miss Smith (headmistress) like it was yesterday. "Yes, we will accept Madeline, but we really HAVE to do something about that accent". Elocution lessons once a week after school, but not private - no payment involved. I remember chanting "Miss Tudor went to Tewkesbury on a Tuesday".

Blossoming Sun 25-Sep-22 19:04:07

Callistemon21

Yes, but not private ones. We had elocution lessons in the first year at senior school.
Can't have our gels letting the school down with their local accents!

Same here Callistemon and deportment lessons. I can still remember balancing a book on my head and Miss Scott saying “Nice straight backs gels”. Not unlike physio sessions sometimes grin

Grandma70s Sun 25-Sep-22 19:10:06

Yes, at school, but only those who chose to pay for them. Like Monica’s, they weren’t really about accent (I never had a local accent because my parents and friends didn’t) but about having the confidence to stand up and speak in public. We recited poetry and competed at local festivals. I learnt a lot of good poems, and I loved every minute.

GagaJo Sun 25-Sep-22 19:13:52

No, but teaching second language students for years has left me (a Norfolk dumpling) with a surprisingly poshish accent. All that enunciation to be clearly understood has stuck it seems.

DillytheGardener Sun 25-Sep-22 19:16:26

No but dil has and her accent is like the NZ version of Queen’s English, mine accent is common as muck sadly

Grandma70s Sun 25-Sep-22 19:18:06

Oh, and we took The Poetry Society’s exams. I’ve got the Gold Badge!

Blossoming Sun 25-Sep-22 19:21:35

Kids from rural areas were put under great pressure to speak 'proper' flat rp when going to Grammar School

Not just kids from rural areas. Any accent considered ‘common’ was frowned upon. An unpleasant English teacher belittled me in front of the whole class in my second day at grammar school.

MayBee70 Sun 25-Sep-22 19:30:07

Blossoming

^Kids from rural areas were put under great pressure to speak 'proper' flat rp when going to Grammar School^

Not just kids from rural areas. Any accent considered ‘common’ was frowned upon. An unpleasant English teacher belittled me in front of the whole class in my second day at grammar school.

That’s awful. Things like that stick with you, don’t they. I was humiliated at school (very poor but went to a very good school). I never understand how teachers could be so insensitive back then sad

Yammy Sun 25-Sep-22 19:31:50

Fleurpepper

Yammy

Fleurpepper

LOL no. But for kids from rural, and especially northern regions, passing the 11+ and going to Grammar School required them to change accent and even syntax, or they would be bullied mercilessly. Melvyn Bragg, who grew up in Lancashire explains that very well in his book on the English language.

Melvyn Bragg didn't grow up in Lancashire he grew up in a town called Wigton in West Cumberland and his parents had one of the local pubs The Blackamoor. He went to Nelson /Tomlinson Co-ed Grammar school in the town. One of my friends was there at the same time and our school played them at Rugby though he had left by the time I was there.

Apologies, that was from memory.

Makes no difference to the subject of this thread. Kids from rural areas were put under great pressure to speak 'proper' flat rp when going to Grammar School.

I agree with you, Melvyn Bragg speaks elecuted English . As I said in another part of the stream a lot of the teachers were not local in our Grammar Schools they were there because it was near the lake district. They often could not understand us when we talked together which probably accounts for the fact that we were taught how to say "How do you do", and our names properly, they corrected us all the time and made life a misery if you let them.
Luckily most of us were proud of the way we spoke and still can use it. I think it is more acceptable these days to have a regional accent.

MissAdventure Sun 25-Sep-22 19:32:25

People are still insensitive to grown ups who they consider common, based on their accent or colloquial speech patterns.

Callistemon21 Sun 25-Sep-22 20:11:27

Yammy

Fleurpepper

Yammy

Fleurpepper

LOL no. But for kids from rural, and especially northern regions, passing the 11+ and going to Grammar School required them to change accent and even syntax, or they would be bullied mercilessly. Melvyn Bragg, who grew up in Lancashire explains that very well in his book on the English language.

Melvyn Bragg didn't grow up in Lancashire he grew up in a town called Wigton in West Cumberland and his parents had one of the local pubs The Blackamoor. He went to Nelson /Tomlinson Co-ed Grammar school in the town. One of my friends was there at the same time and our school played them at Rugby though he had left by the time I was there.

Apologies, that was from memory.

Makes no difference to the subject of this thread. Kids from rural areas were put under great pressure to speak 'proper' flat rp when going to Grammar School.

I agree with you, Melvyn Bragg speaks elecuted English . As I said in another part of the stream a lot of the teachers were not local in our Grammar Schools they were there because it was near the lake district. They often could not understand us when we talked together which probably accounts for the fact that we were taught how to say "How do you do", and our names properly, they corrected us all the time and made life a misery if you let them.
Luckily most of us were proud of the way we spoke and still can use it. I think it is more acceptable these days to have a regional accent.

Yes, we met a school friend of Melvyn Bragg and he spoke "elocuted English" - still had an accent but spoke clearly and distinctly.