Liverpool accents are dreadful, hideous and whinging

 January 26, 2009         Leave a comment

Liverpool accents should be consigned to the dustbin of regionalism as they are ‘dreadful’, ‘hideous’ and ‘whinging’.

Not my words, the word of Liverpool author Beryl Bainbridge, though I’ll admit I did write that opening paragraph in an attempt to stir up trouble (and thus hits and comments), taking a leaf out of he Grauniad’s increasingly absurd Comment Is Free section, which I thoroughly expect will produce a blog called “Why Hitler was right” by Gary Glitter sometime soon.

The increasingly dotty Beryl has decided that Scouser should have elocution lessons in their youth so they can talk proper and not be ridiculed by the rest of the country.

Bainbridge has form on this matter. Ten years ago when I edited the much-missed Liverpool Gazette – an endearingly earnest and pompous publication under my editorship – she made some similar comments about how the scouse accent should be ‘wiped out’ because it sounded ‘stupid’ and ‘uneducated’.

It seems that the esteemed author has gotten something of a bee in her bonnet over the matter in the way that slightly bonkers old ladies often do.

You can listen to Beryl in all her glory or read a transcript, holding forth on how everyone in Liverpool in the 40s and 50s took elocution lessons and therefore spoke perfect Queen’s English.

To listen to her you would imagine that the scouse accent was invented sometime in the 80’s, probably by Derek Hatton and Jimmy McGovern.

There’s murder on around the web, naturally, but I simply find it all rather funny and I think old ladies earn the right to come out with a load of nonsense in later life, rather like the way my Grandmama decided to start saying ‘fuck’ after her 90th birthday.

I’ve only been here since 1997, so would welcome any insight from older readers of the blog (there are older readers, right?) on whether Beryl is right or simply a bit wobbly.

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