How do you feel about regional accents?
Famous Geordies, Ant and Dec
Regional dialects in the UK are getting stronger despite some fears that the South East accent is taking over, the BBC Voices project has found.
The project also gathered information about reactions to accents, one man said he had his accent 'knocked out' of him at school and a woman described her accent as an integral part of her identity.
Which accents do you find easy to listen to? Are there any that you don't like? Has your accent changed and how do you feel about the way you speak?
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.
When a British person with a regionalised accent, ie Scot, is talking on the telly here, they have subtitles in "English". What a hoot! I love accents and they make a person more unique. I have lived in America now for 27 years and my Scottish accent is as broad as it ever was. The nice thing is people are always paying me compliments. The downside is, people often actually listen to what I am saying - not necessarily a good thing!
D Stewart, North Carolina, USA (ex UK)
I come from Cumbria, and I thought it was funny on Frasier when their home help from Manchester had her family over for the wedding. Their mother and one brother was cockney, another brother was posh English, and the third was Scottish! But they were born and raised in Manchester. Erm, yes, ok.
Susan Surgey, Taastrup, Denmark
Unfortunately Poland is a country where regional accents are in decline. 90% of our population speaks standard Polish which in my opinion is not a good thing those who speak with an accent are often regarded as rednecks so they give it up dear Britons - preserve your accents and be proud of them
Clara from London's comments about when accents are mixed up reminds me of a guy I used to work with. He was born and brought up in Israel but had then lived and worked in Switzerland for a number of years. Bizarrely, his hybrid Israeli/Swiss accent actually sounded quite a lot like Scottish!
Chris Day, Oxford, United Kingdom
Why is it that every "bright new thing" on television seems to have a Geordie accent? What's that all about?
James Robson, Scotland
I think I am a mongrel in the accent world. Having been brought up in Wales, with English parents, I was constantly told how posh I was. However, when I went to University in England I was told how Welsh I sounded. Add to that some 'Queen's English' friends, some Mancunian mates and a year in the South of France and it's left me a little confused! But I love each and every person's accent for its individuality!
Rachael, Pembrokeshire, UK
The Northern Ireland accent I have is one of my favourite in the British Isles - Welsh accents are amazing too. I'm very glad I resisted a decade of taunts and abuse growing up in North-East Scotland - as are my family, who have all kept their accents, even my sister who was 5 when we left Belfast. Scottish accents in that region are one of the worst, but heading South to the central belt moves closer to the great Glaswegian!
Gary McDowell, Cambridge, England
One of the best regional accents - almost a dialect - is from Aberdeen and north-east Scotland, often referred to as the Doric. I've seen Aberdeen referred to by outsiders as Furryboots City - not because of the local people's footwear, but from the question "Furryboots d'ye come frae?"
Martin Waddell, Glasgow, Scotland
I'm from Yorkshire and the accent does suggest that a large dollop of stupidity has been thrown into our genetic make-up. On the bright side I don't think there is any other accent that can compete with Yorkshire when it comes to giving swear words their full impact. Also the Yorkshire accent is regarded as reassuring and trustworthy, much like the folk who live here.
Ferg, Kiveton, Yorkshire
As the great Alan Partridge said of the Geordie Accent. "That was just a noise"
Matthew , London, UK
I like to hear almost all regional accents, but sloppy speech/pronunciation does grate on the ear, eg "The Department 'f Tradenindustry", "ejewcashun", "immeejutly", "ishoos (issues)" and so forth. Often newscasters are the worst offenders too!
Helen, Canterbury, UK
As a Greek person who has lived in the UK for 5 years, I found it really funny that I could understand every accent whereas Britons from neighbouring cities sometimes couldn't understand each other!
Andreas Oikonomou, Athens, Greece
The only accent my mother couldn't get on with was Glaswegian (as in Taggart). She used to put on subtitles when she watched it.
Jane, Herts, UK
I really detest this concept of 'Regional' Accents. I happen to have a Scots accent - why is it considered to be "Regional" simply because it doesn't come from the South-East of England?
Robert, London, UK
I was born in Stoke-on-Trent and lived there for the following 19 years until I moved to Oldham where I have lived for the past 11 years. In between I have lived in London for some 9 months and in Wales for a year so you can imagine the fun when people have difficulty placing my accent. Invariably, they say my accent is of someone from the Midlands.
Javaid Ramzan, Oldham UK
In the USA, a strong regional accent isn't considered a particular hindrance to self advancement and regional disparities in dialect and intonation are celebrated. If only it were more like that in Britain, where so many people, particularly in the south, still seem to think that a nice, strong northern dialect complete with its rich vernacular, is synonymous with low status, stupidity and bad manners?
Matt, West Yorkshire (and proud)
I'm originally from London, where I spoke with an apparently "posh" voice. I then moved to Stoke to go to uni where I became a normal south London teenager. Now I've stayed in the area I find myself saying "duck" "ta-ra" and shortening my vowel sounds!
Ed, Newcastle, Staffs
I lived in the US for 5 years and often used to be told "I love your accent". I used to point out to them that it wasn't me with the accent!
Neil, Liverpool, UK
My wife has lived here for ten years now but constantly gets asked where she's from (Pittsburg PA), she takes great enjoyment out of replying Walkden (near Manchester). Me, well I have my Bolton accent (despite my mother trying to knock it out of me and moving to Salford - 4 miles away) and am very proud of it. Obviously my other half didn't have a clue where this was 11 years ago and assumed I was Scottish!
Nigel Greensitt, Walkden, UK
The further from Yorkshire I travel, the more Yorkshire my accent becomes. I find it useful that people hear my accent and assume I'm thick, it makes them so much easier to manipulate.
I am from the midlands, more specifically Wolverhampton. I get sick of people telling me I'm a Brummie when I think you'll find Birmingham is a good 20 miles away!! I am proud of my accent but hate people's prejudiced views that anyone from this neck of the woods is dumb. We have many influential "celebrities" that were born and bred here - Denise Lewis, Darren Campbell, Noddy Holder, Jamelia, Cat Deeley...the list goes on.
Hollie, Wolverhampton, UK
I was born and bread in Blyth near 'The Toon' and now live in Gourock near Glasgow, the response I get as soon as I speak is unreal, the Scots love a Geordie accent, I have had similar responses all over the country and have a good laugh at peeps trying the classic line 'whey i man', I love being a Geordie and am proud of it.
Dee, Gourock, Inverclyde
I am originally from Liverpool and now live in Hong Kong. From the way I speak everyone thinks I am from Melbourne, Australia - even the Brits here think I am an Aussie!!
I'm a Geordie, my fiancée is from Staffordshire. In a country pub down there, I asked for a coke, got a bemused look from the young barmaid, who then turned, walked away, and returned looking perplexed but holding a cork!
Lee, Hebburn, England
The best accent to listen to is a southern Irish accent, a Scottish or a broad Cornish accent. Unfortunately I have none of these, as I come from the south east (or should that be the sarff east). I don't particularly have an accent as when I did my degree at Canterbury my Medway cockney accent grated on the nerves of most of my lecturers and made me sound stupid in comparison to all of the other posher accents. The only time the accent comes out now is when I'm angry.
In my mother's house, Gloucestershire, Irish and Scouse accents are all spoken - and that's when she's home alone!
Andrew, Cambridge, UK
The Northern Irish accent is by far the most pleasing to the ear. Geoff Boycott proves how great the Yorkshire accent is. I lived in Bristol for 2 years and was quite pleased to leave before I started picking that one up though!
As I am serving in the Army I have always noticed that regional accents are very strong and varied, sometimes to the point of not being able to understand people. I have always been proud of my Nottinghamshire accent even though when I am speaking German my accent is too strong for people to understand me, oh well, one more problem to overcome.
Andy P, Bielefeld, Germany
It is quite shocking how much prejudice surrounds the subject of accents and dialect - Scottish accents in the parliament (god forbid!), Brummies being stupid, Londoners crass, and Scousers being theives! We should all be very proud of the diversity of the accents in the whole of the UK rather than stigmatising a person by the way they speak - replace 'accent' with 'skin colour' and there are an awful lot of racist views on this page!
My husband's from Teeside although living here in Derbyshire he often gets called a Geordie, which is like calling me a Scouser (ie its about 50 miles out). I went to school 12 miles away in Cheshire and have a mild northern accent but it is no-where near as strong as the 'local' accent (thankfully!)
Clare, High Peak, Derbys
It's got to a stage where you can't get a job at the BBC without a regional accent, which means a northern or Scottish accent. Along with more than half of the population of the UK, I live in southern England, yet our accents have almost vanished from the airwaves. And we're not talking BBC or 'Estuary' English here either - when was the last time you heard a Suffolk or Lincolnshire accent anywhere in the broadcast media?
There are so many influences on how we speak due to television and the people with whom we mix. My children call biscuits cookies, courtesy of Dora the Explora etc. They also speak a few words of Spanish as well. I do a good New England accent when required. I have also been know to shout very aggressively aka yob when I was a police officer. For many of us we change our accents and behaviour according to the situation which begs the question who and what are we?
Chris Parker, Padbury
Having lived in Plymouth, Burntisland, Plymouth, St Andrews and Edinburgh I have a very mixed accent. I'm often mistaken for Irish but to most Scots I sound English and to most English I sound Scots. But the Scots have different accents. Having lived in Edinburgh and Fife the two are totally different and it takes months to understand the Fife accent.
Adrian Cannon, Edinburgh, Scotland
I find it irritating that the American film industry always show an English accent as either cockney for a villain or snobby for any nice people.
Dee, Cheshire, UK
I always find it amusing when people say they don't understand regional accents yet happily listen to foreign accents with apparently few problems. People are who they are, and if you don't understand, open your ears and, more importantly, your mind. Naturally I think all the Scottish accents are best.
I was once working in a pub, when an older gentleman came up to the bar and cryptically announced "I know where you're from." It turned out that he recognised the accent for the village three miles away.
Alison, Leeds, UK
I wonder if accents really are getting stronger or if it is just a slight reversal in the decline of regional accents. I am originally from the south but now living in Yorkshire I agree that the younger generation do have stronger accents than their parents, but the strongest accents come from the over 70s.
Chris Q, Bradford, England
I lived in the south of England for most of my life, but have lived here in the US for a couple of years. Every time I talk to my family and friends, I get comments about how watered down my accent is getting. But this includes the American words, not just the accent.
Steven Collins, Orange County, California
I have lived in a number of places and as a result seem to change my accent depending on who I speak to and my real accent isn't really from a particular area. It sometimes gets a bit embarrassing as people think I am mimicking their accent, but I just can't stop my own accent from changing.
I find the Scottish accent absolutely delightful to listen to. Its singing tone is like music to my ears compared to the monotonic standard English accent. However, it is sad that the accent itself is a result of the Scots losing their own language. Some northern accents which include old Viking words are etymologically very interesting.
Tommi, Vantaa, Finland
Geordie, Brummie, Cockney, whatever. We just love your accents over here.
I was born and currently live in the potteries but have lived in Plymouth, Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Imagine my accent if you can!
Mark, Stoke, Staffs
After I've been back home to Mansfield, people over here struggle to understand my English. As soon as I get back to Mansfield, I'm straight back into my local dialect. And it takes a few days back over here to 'lose' it
Wendy Harrison-Fox, Oslo, Norway (English ex-Pat)
At one stage my 4 sisters were married to men from Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire respectively. They were very distinctively different accents, yet people still speak of "West Country" accents as if they are all the same! I now live in West Somerset with my husband who left Northumberland 35 years ago, but is still recognised as a Geordie wherever we go!
Catherine Davies, Minehead, England
I was born in the West Midlands to Dutch parents and I've lived in London for years. The combined accent? Well, people often ask if I'm from Sheffield! Somehow my accent has veered towards a city in which I've never lived. Peculiar huh?
Clara, London, UK
I myself live in Cheshire and as soon as I move as few as 5 miles towards Manchester get mocked for being posh and 'Cheshire set' because of my accent. I've also got Welsh and Brummie heritage and find that they can both come out rapidly when talking to someone with either of those accents.
As a southerner, I absolutely love the Brummie accent. It is so friendly to hear.
Despite growing up in Texas, I do not have the slightest hint of the telltale "twang". Now that my British husband and I have moved back to the UK, I've had numerous people try to guess where I'm from... most common being Canada, but I've also had Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and (if you can believe this!) Wantage!
I'm Australian so when I moved here 5 years ago I was too scared to speak in public because people would know I was an Aussie. Now my accent is a cross-between a Kentish accent mixed with Australian. I went back to Sydney in March this year and I was told I was "too English" but I thought I sounded very Australian.
Karen Wilson, Sittingbourne, Kent
Last summer I worked in a refreshment kiosk, and experienced the full range of British accents. By and far the most incomprehensible accent was, I'm afraid to say, the Scottish. I personally find the Welsh accent charming. Oh, and my accent? A very weak Northern, which sometimes gives way to posher tones.
Richard, Lancashire, UK
Where I live in Kent, you would be surprised to know that a form of Cornish dialect still exists. But these quaint lingos are being washed over by the awful, lazy sound of 'Estuary English' which seems to be common place from East and South East London out to Essex and the North Kent area. As you move away from the Thames, people do speak better!
As a born and bred 'southerner' living in Newcastle for the past 5 years, even now I still have trouble with broad Geordie accents!
I've been living in Switzerland for over 20 years, but I grew up in Manchester and Wolverhampton. When I visit my family in either places, my accent is back within a couple of days, although everyone says I now have a Swiss dialect.
Carolyn, Baar, Switzerland
I used to be quite embarrassed by my south Wales accent, but then I listen to the voices around me in London and realise that it's likely one of the most beautiful (along with the Highland accent) in the UK. I can't bear the Australian accent though. It's like a louder and more vulgar version of cockney.
Mike, London, UK
Certainly the number of Scottish accents in the House of Commons, and Labour Party is high - strange really as they have their own parliament.
Tom, Ipswich, UK
I moved to south Wales from Dorset when I was six and rapidly discarded my 'Darzet' accent due to other kids making fun of me. I never picked up a Welsh accent and got bullied at secondary school for being 'posh'. I do like the Welsh accent though but unfortunately mine now sounds more like the Cadbury's Caramel Bunny!
Aly, South Wales, UK
To expand a little, we had a great problem understanding the Scots who "ran" Hong Kong, but we learned and many of our best friends are now Scots.
Keith, Chepstow, Wales (ex-Doha, Qatar)
We are Yorkshire folk and 30 years ago we lived in Essex for a couple of years. On visiting a Chinese take away we were asked by the owner if we were Russian or Yorkshire. He explained that he had a Russian friend who learned to speak English in Yorkshire and wondered which we were.
Elizabeth Philips, Halifax, UK
I love hearing people speak with different accents, in fact as a child I wished fervently that I had been born anywhere other than London, so that I could have an accent.
Chloe Smith, London
I quite like most accents except, sorry, the Welsh which I find very irritating for some reason. However, I do think that anyone with a particularly strong regional accent should not be used to broadcast urgent or emergency messages nationally as I think it takes people some time to become "attuned" to the accent and therefore very important information could be lost if it cannot be understood in the first few seconds.
Alison, Worthing, England
I generally have a fairly 'posh' accent, probably as a result of my grammar school, but bizarrely, every time I'm called upon to do anything even remotely practical around the house, I lapse back into my original East London accent! It's very odd!
HB, Cambridge, London
Having lived in South Devon until I went to university I can remember thinking how harsh and unfriendly London accents sounded, where as my own voice which is not particularly Devonshire was considered very posh ! Accents in Devon vary greatly , those in Plymouth have completely different accents to those in the countryside of north Devon. I have a great liking for Yorkshire accents which sound so warm and genuine. And am not keen on the South East accent which sounds emotionless and cold, sorry.
Michelle, Exeter, Devon
There is a world of difference between accent and dialect. Accent is mainly about different vowel sounds, while dialect involves different vocabulary or even grammar. We can all understand Prof. Colin Pillinger or Sir Alex Ferguson, to name but two, but a D.H. Lawrence play can be difficult for someone not from Nottinghamshire.
Geoff Kerr, Todmorden, UK
Unfortunately I am one of these people who pick up accents really easy. I have moved around throughout my life so seem to have a mismatch of accents. I was Scottish until 6 then, got a Dorset one, then Hampshire (my favourite) then 3 months in LA gave me an American twang before staying in Staffordshire now. I have a bit of the local dialect. Is frustrating, Southern people say I have a strong accent yet the people up here don't think its that strong.... I want my Southern accent back!
My sister has a total nightmare understanding her husband's broad West Country accent - so much so that she has to get him to clarify which thing he means as he pronounces three things all the same "Wells". The three meanings are as follows: "Wells" (place with a cathedral) "Welsh Wells" (Wales) and "Wells that live in the sea" (Whales). My dad also grew up in the West Country, but "lost" his accent when he went to Cambridge University. It came back with a vengeance though when he spoke to anyone from Somerset! My boyfriend, however, has never had a regional accent (probably why I'm with him) as he was threatened with elocution lessons if he carried on talking "Brummie". He sounds to me (a linguistics graduate) like he is speaking Standard Southern British.
Rachel, Reading, Berks, UK
My northern accent once cost me a job. I was up for a role in the city and completed the technical tests. I was told I was technically the best person for the job but that my accent would not have given the correct image for the bank.
Unfortunately I have! Why can't I be from somewhere that has nice accents like Scotland or Ireland? And I have found (rather bizarrely) that whenever I talk to someone from Leeds my accent gets broader! How weird is that considering I'm a Mancunian? However I will always be thankful I am not from London. Sorry to all those I might offend but I can't stand London accents!
It's obvious how the BBC feels! The only regional accent allowed for news presenters outside "Oxbrige toff" is a Scottish accent.
JM, London, UK
I'm a Geordie and I have a right hard time being understood by Southerners. I'm also a school teacher and my kids play it up to get laughs. Until I give them detention - the great equaliser pronounced the same in any accent!
Neil Lithgo, Walthamstow, London
I believe that the Inverness accent is being lost, mainly due to the number of people relocating to the area from south of the border. Many of the rural primary schools are full of pupils with 'southern' or 'estuary English' accents as your article described it. I can go to most shops in the city centre and be served by someone with a southern accent and often don't hear a local accent for most of the day as I walk through the streets.
Kelvin Fraser, Inverness, Scotland
One of the most remarkable differences in accent, between geographically adjacent areas, is that between Carlisle and Lockerbie. Just a few miles, and the flat north-western English vowels are replaced by a typical lowland Scottish burr.
Interesting to see the word for bunking off school is the same in Dublin as it is in South Wales i.e. mitch. Or more correctly 'on the mitch' or 'to mitch off'. Has anyone discovered any other similarities connecting we Celtic cousins I wonder? I think regional dialects wonderful and although there's no harm in toning down an accent, it should never be completely obliterated. It's part of who you are and where you come from and literally speaks volumes. Favourite UK accents of mine include Welsh (Hugh Edwards a good example), Edinburgh, a soft Glasgow one, and the West Country accent.
Both pronunciation and language should be considered I think. Having lived in North London for more years than anywhere else my more guttural Derbyshire pronunciation (accent?) still doesn't fool the more cockney elements as to where I'm from despite using their "lingo"!
Brian Wibberley, Barnet. UK
As long as you can understand the other person the accent used is not important, but a matter of personal preference (prejudice?). I find it irritating that the Welsh and Edinburgh accents have so infiltrated BBC television news and weather. You never hear a Norfolk or Devon accent on the news, nor it has to be said, an East End accent.
Barry, London UK
I find that the northern accents are more warm and welcoming than the southern ones, which are just vile. Brummy is best!
Matt, Birmingham, UK
Some speech lessons for BBC newsreaders would not go amiss. Where exactly are "Perthsheer", "Lancasheer" and "Yorksheer"?
Alex Neil, Glasgow, Scotland
British ears are fabulously adaptable. Indeed, anyone who speaks to me has to contend with a Birmingham meets Manchester meets Belfast meets Radio 4 meets continental Europe with a Dutch/Germanic twang odd sort of accent! For my sins, I was born abroad and have lived in five European countries excluding the UK and about five different regions here, including Scotland, Hertfordshire, London, Kent, Sussex and Northern Ireland. When people ask me where I am from - which happens on average once a day - I just tell them the 1970s as it cuts a very long story short!
Here in Herefordshire our local accent is quite broad West Country yet a few miles down the road is Wales and the accent completely changes. If you go 4 miles the other way you end up in the Forest of Dean and the accent once again is completely different. It always astounds me how accents can change within a couple of miles.
Craig, Ross-On-Wye, Herefordshire
In a similar respect to Rachel, my friends in the Midlands say that I am sounding more and more American now that I live in the States, but after a couple of weeks back home every year, I feel like I am speaking as a Midlander again...if your accent changes a little, once you are back among your hometown peers it changes right back!
Chris, Houston TX, USA
I grew up in South Wales in the 1970s, learning my speech patterns from the BBC. The result was that I got the living daylights beaten out of me at school by other pupils who thought I was "English" and "posh". Now living in London and married to an American, very few people can tell I'm Welsh unless I tell them. I've lived in Glasgow, and loved the warm flowing accents of the place, and in Bristol, where the accent drove me utterly insane.
Tony, London, UK
We all have different "faces" for different social situations, and many of us vary our accents as part of those "faces". You get better service in restaurants, department stores, etc, with a cut-glass Home Counties accent than speaking broad Geordie, and you'd get looked at suspiciously if you used that Home Counties accent to order a "mild and bitter" in your local pub.
Lucy Jones, Manchester
Way back in 1976, I moved from Brixton to Abingdon, Oxfordshire. I had such a broad 'Souf London' accent, those from Oxfordshire thought I was Australian. Slowly it has been 'diluted', but sometimes it can easily resurface, if I speak to another Londoner on the phone. I have an annoying habit, of picking up accents very easily. I have to watch myself when I talk to anybody with a pronounced accent. But I really cannot stand a Brum/Dudley Accent.
Colin Bartlett, Oxford
I had my Brummie accent knocked out of me at a young age as my parents felt that Brummies are considered to be dense by the rest of the population (how often do you see the stupid one in a programme/advert being portrayed with a Brummie accent?) It's done me the power of good, and even though I still live in the city, a number of people as where I am originally from. Although snobbery does exist around accents, I'm glad my parents took the proactive steps they did in helping me with my career at a young age.
People should not be looked down on for having a regional accent as long as they can still be understood. As an undergraduate I knew many people from the southeast who thought their accent was not "regional", when of course it was, just from a different region to the rest of us!
I'm sitting here with a "kipper tie" while I write this. Whether or not I'm referring to a hot drink or some dodgy clothing I'll leave to the accent experts!
Richard, Wolverhampton, UK
I'm curious... if regional accents are left to flourish, with little outside influence, do they eventually become distinct languages in their own right?
GV, London - Yes that's exactly where languages come from. The 'evolution' of dialects forms new languages over time. This can even be seen in modern history, where French and English combined in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean islands to form Creole - chances are both French and English speakers would 'get the jist' but it contains a raft of unique words.
David, Buckinghamshire, UK
Years ago I heard the burr of a genuine Sussex accent from an old shepherd. Nowadays Sussex generally conforms to the south east estuary/mockney/Australian rising inflection towards the end of the sentence conventions sprinkled with a good few South African, Australian and Indian subcontinent accents. I talk Received Pronunciation marking me out delusional as according to some; sub-toff, just short of the dinosaur breed that occupy country hizes, striding about in their trizers demonstrating Wilde's class/speech theory that 'every time an Englishman opens his mouth, another despises him'
Regional accents are certainly more appealing in business and on the occasion you receive call centre calls. I find a person with a regional accent makes them appear more of an individual and less like some soul-less person barking robot-like on the other end of the telephone. It's more endearing. I have to say, the Scots have it going for them the most though!
I am from London but I associate Estuary English with lies and crime! If someone says 'mate' in this accent I bristle; if someone with an Australian accent says the same thing, it seems charming.
Joseph Crowley, London
There's a big difference between rich dialects/accents and sheer spoken laziness. I cringe when I hear 'th' pronounced as 'f.' I think it is right that the media has presenters with a variety of regional accents. I've never met anyone with a 'BBC' accent!
Darren Langley, Dudley, England
As a proud Highlander I refused a lucrative posting to London in the mid-90s as I couldn't bear the thought of my children growing up with an English accent!
Colin MacKenzie, Aberdeenshire
When I moved from my home town near Middlesbrough to go to university in Birmingham I soon found that I didn't speak as normally as I thought. My accent wandered around the country for a few weeks in an effort to be understood. It finally settled somewhere in Yorkshire, but since moving to the south-east, even that has gone. Except when I'm on the phone to friends and relatives "up north". Then it comes back stronger than ever and my husband finds it highly amusing! I'm proud of where I come from and the loss of accent isn't intentional - it's just the way things go. As I gradually change and become more "southern", so does my speech.
Kirsty, Crawley, UK
My accent cannot be attributed to any region; however it is an essential part of my life. I have a well spoken and upper class accent which I find a lot of men find attractive. People respond with more respect if you have a well spoken tone and accent. The ultimate accent on a UK man would have to be Irish, Scottish or Geordie they are all very sexy accents (in my opinion). 'Landaners' are quite cool too.. But I'd have to say Scouse is my least favourite... coming up close to the 'black country' accents who always seem to be stereotyped (which is unfair).
Having a Northern upbringing, I use the flat 'a' sound, rather than the southern 'ar'. I married a southerner and our children are very confused! Do they have a 'bath' or a 'barth'? Keep to the path or the parth? Glass or glarss? The list goes on and on.
Lisa T, Cambridge, UK
I had a friend in school in Scotland who went to speech impediment lessons to remove him of the terrible problem of saying f instead th. In london very few say th. Maybe a few English lessons wouldn't go a miss. Also what happened to people saying the wh noise? Everyone seems to just say w. There is a difference between which and witch.
Far too much snobbery surrounding accents. At my secondary school (just 6 years ago) a teacher felt it appropriate to say in front of a class of 13 year olds, "...and you must be a scholarship or assisted place girl - that accent gives it away." Who cares? I've done better for myself than the ones who paid to go there.
Established regional accents and verbal constructs are an important part of our culture, their existence should be actively encouraged. I say 'established' deliberately though, because most of the transitory methods of speaking (those commonly referred to as 'street') are a crude devaluation of English.
Paul, Merstham, Surrey
Paul, Surrey - you miss the point of our language entirely. The "established" language of this nation was ancient British which would have sounded very like Cornish or Welsh. The Romans then introduced Latin which partially replaced it. "English" was forced onto us by the Saxon invaders, then Danish and French words were brought by subsequent rounds of invasion. Apparently the Geordie accent has more in common with Norwegian than with the Cornish accent. Our language is dynamic - it changes constantly. Languages that don't evolve die. That's why we don't use Latin anymore. Who says which accent is better than others?
I don't have an accent - but everyone else has.
Rod Watson, Winchester, Hants
Although not massively strong I always find that I easily, yet subconsciously lose my accent when I leave Chesterfield, and the moment I set foot in the town, it comes back with a vengeance! I think accents and dialects are extremely important and would never consciously change mine - I am proud to be Derbyshire born and bred!
Rachel Cox, Chesterfield, UK
Even in my hometown as a child, people would ask me where I was from as my accent didn't fit. When I met my mother at age 27, I also found the origin of my accent. How about a study to find out if certain traits are passed on genetically?
Anya, London, UK
I fink yeah? That the Sahff East accent is proper wicked and we should a be talkin' it, yeah?