Monday, 3 February 2014

LIVING WITH A BIRMINGHAM ACCENT



It seems inconceivable in these modern times that people can often be judged and stereotyped just from their regional accent, but people from Birmingham know all to well that this definitely does take place. 

It may sound ridiculous, but before I moved to Cardiff I didn't even realise that I had a distinctive accent. It's not like I'd never been outside of Birmingham, I had done a fair bit of travelling. However, I just presumed when people repeated the word “Birminnnnnngham” after I said where I came from that it was a TV show catchphrase or something (maybe living up to the Birmingham people are stupid stereotype). But as soon as I crossed the border into the land of the welsh, boy was I made aware of my accent. I don't mind my friends ridiculing me for my accent at all, I can admit I do have a unique way of pronouncing words such as “bus” which I pronounce as “buzz”. It took me a while to explain what I meant to my new southern friends. In the end I had to result to pointing at one that went past, “ohhhh bus” they proclaimed. Also, the term “dank” (which is sort of the Brummie equivalent to lush) is something that I have had to drop whilst living in Cardiff to avoid funny looks. When I'm home it again becomes part of my regular dialect along with a much faster pace of talking which if I adopted in Cardiff people would show me their puzzled faces.

However what is annoying about having a Birmingham accent and a great daily annoyance is the way people believe they have the right to repeat after you everything you say, or I have even experienced people I barely know laughing in my face. I am proud to come from Birmingham, and don't believe I should hide the way I speak just for these sorts of people that are quite frankly idiots. 

It's not just me who becomes annoyed by these remarks, recent controversy and anger was expressed over the new 'Hotels 4 U' advert, which has been called more annoying than the GoCompare advert, and we all know that takes some beating. I think the media as a whole under represents certain regional accents and instead the standard 'Queen's English' accent is shoved onto us, making that first time someone hears a real Birmingham accent first hand a shock. Although it's not all negative and things could be said to be looking up with Jamelia a born and bred Birmingham girl having just recently joined the Loose Women panel. Also let's not forget we'll always have Ozzy Osbourne making us proud with his trademark “Sharonnnnnnn” and Lenny Henry jumping on those reasonably priced Premier Inn beds. So to all the people with Birmingham accents, or Black Country accents, no to anyone with an accent at all never be ashamed or hide it, it's part of who we are! How do you feel about your accent?



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