Brit School…

What is it with alumni of the Brit School (Kate Nash, Lily Allen et al)? Their music’s OK (for a given value of OK), but almost without exception, the buggers can’t speak English.

Listening to Kate Nash at The Brits last night (and, god, wasn’t it an evening absolutely littered with dog-rough women – make an effort, girls, please; and will someone please buy Amy Winehouse a comb – or does she keep her stash in that hair?), she might well have been speaking Tagalog, so infested was her speech with glottal stops. In fact, it wasn’t that it was barely English, it was barely language – I really had to work hard to understand what she was saying. Shame it wasn’t worth the effort…

I’m all in favour of regional dialects – I was born in Manchester (long before the current nasal, whiny accent developed), although, having grown up in Liverpool, I now have a generic northern accent with no particular regional influences – but the hopelessly corrupted version of estuary English, as spoken by Nash and company isn’t a dialect, it’s simply a slovenly mode of speech.

If present trends continue (why is it, do you think, that migrants from mainland Europe and India take the trouble to learn English properly, yet native-born people are happy to wreak havoc on it?), the language we now know will have ceased to exist except among a well-educated elite, and in America.

American English, as spoken by educated Americans, particularly in those areas least influenced by immigration, like New England, is purer than the language spoken by the majority of people in the UK. Send Kate Nash to New Hampshire, and her speech would be as unintelligible as Swahili! And the really scary thing is that, even here in the north, the kids are starting to ape estuary English as spoken by Nash and Allen, probably because it even affects their music – in both cases they sing the same way they speak – appallingly badly. I don’t mean bad musically, but linguistically – listen for yourself. The only people I know whose dialects come through strongly in their songs are the Proclaimers (and I suspect that’s deliberate), and, yep, you’ve guessed…

2 thoughts on “Brit School…

  1. Actually, I’m quoting The Guardian and the BBC.

    However, I’ve had a quick rummage around Google, and the number of sites that put Ms. Allen at the Brit School is substantial so, for now, my charmless friend, until something substantive comes along, I’ll stick with the majority.

    You see, just TELLING me, snottily, that I’m wrong doesn’t cut the mustard. You need to show me…

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