Thursday, December 29, 2005

An update on accents

In my post on Schott's Almanac, I listed the ten most liked and ten least liked celebrity accents.

Today, in this article titled 'Regional accents bad for trade', the BBC reports that an overseas accent is better for success in commercial life than an English regional one.

The survey found 77% of business people thought a Home Counties accent was a sign of success in business followed by 73% favouring an American accent, 63% a Scottish accent, 52% continental European and 25% believing Indian or Asian accents were successful.

However 64% of business people regarded those with a Liverpudlian accent unsuccessful, closely followed by a Birmingham or West Midlands accent, 63%, Cockney, 52% and Geordie or West Country 48%.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you where South African accents appear in that pecking order.


Blogger Bill said...

Apart from the fact that a Scottish accent is obviously not an overseas accent I tend to think that what this research reveals is broadly accurate (as to fact, not the relative merits of possessors of different accents, I hasten to add). Have you ever noticed just how many banks and insurance companies use Scottish-sounding voice-overs in their advertisements, for example?

As for South African accents, I suppose it depends how closely you think that some of the characters in Tom Sharpe's novels reflect those possessing such accents in the UK today ;)

8:45 pm  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

I think I would like your South African Accent Nomad.

I bet it would make me MELT!

4:55 am  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

Honestly, I absolutely love Nigerian and South African accents. To me, they are just amazing. Hey... care to make me a wav file? lol! Kidding!!!

7:16 am  
Blogger Frog with a Blog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:23 pm  
Blogger Frog with a Blog said...

I've always thought that South-African English-speakers sound like their nostrils have been sown together and part of their lips as well, leaving a tiny hole where all the sounds come out from. I like it, it's like the successful mix between peasant and posh, spicy and plain. It does make me melt too!

12:25 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Bill: I sound NOTHING like a Tom Sharp character...I think most of the baddies in his novels were Afrikaans cops and bureaucrats.

Rob, Livewire and mickelino: of course you'd melt if you were to hear it! ;)

mickelino: your description is terrible! Incidentally, my accent isn't very typical. It's quite obviously S African but very mild. In South Africa, I'm usually mistaken as English

3:48 pm  
Anonymous Christopher said...

South Africans think I'm English, while the English think I'm from 'Rhodesia', I have an Afrikaans surname (from my very Afrikaans dad), and my mum is of German stock.

Is it any wonder I'm queer?

5:59 pm  
Blogger Come Into My World said...

The business merits of my Geordie accent are questionable, as in London, nobody can understand what I'm saying - most recently 'snuer' ('snow' to the uneducated). But it is a turn-on for the boys so a Geordie Poofta I'll remain...

9:27 pm  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

What's this "if".... you!

6:52 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

jim: I lived in Newcastle for 2 years and I totally agree...that accent is uber-sexy! :-)

livewire: I'll get a microphone then create a sample of my 'sexy' accent.

5:27 pm  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

Nomad - Ok... this is me happy...{wink} =)

1:14 am  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Hi, how ya doing? [That's me in my successful American accent].

Strange, how accents can affect commercial life.

Over here, as soon as folks here a Brit or American of Canadian on the phone...service immediately.

2:52 am  
Anonymous Alan said...

I have heard a few South african accents over the years and must agree that yours Nomad is not typical. it is much more mellow and not as sharp and authoritarian. Australian accents always do it for me ! and whilst not overseas the Scottish accent often has me weak at the knees. The Geordie accent also has its merits.

6:09 pm  

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