I’m from Redditch, a town in the West Midlands, about 30 minutes below Birmingham. No, I don’t have the ‘buuuuurminhummm’ accent, I have a Redditch accent…where I’m from. A lot of people who aren’t from west midlands would mistake my accent as a ‘Brummie accent, which isn’t a problem, but it’s not a Brummie accent.
I moved to Nottingham to study, and many southerners had also moved here. From day one my friendship group were southerners, some from Cambridge, some from south London and so on. I also shared a household with these individuals.
We often had arguments on how I pronounced my words wrong… for example, I say Bath like Baff and to them it was wrong, but to me it was correct. I’d often get told ‘But our way is the queen’s language’ and all that crap. I sometimes found these conversations funny, other times I found it pointless. Why are you trying to tell me how to pronounce things? When either way I’m still saying the correct word? It’s the way I have been taught to pronounce it since I was a kid from my parents and in school etc. why would I change it? it’s not like they don’t know what words I was saying.
I felt like they also saw me as stupid, considering I was the most intelligent there and doing the hardest course (not to brag), but stand me next to someone with a ‘posh’ Londoner accent, and I bet I’ll be seen as the stupid one.
I don’t get it, and quite frankly it’s annoying. Does it really matter about accents and the way we pronounce words? I’m proud of where I come from and I’m not going to change the way I speak because that’s how the queen bloody says it.
So yeah I do think accentism is a thing. Once I was even told by a friend to pronounce things ‘correctly’ before I have a job interview. Am I any less worthy of opportunities just because I pronounce words differently?