a resurgence of traditional elocution lessons in britain
by Zhou (Chew) Hong Jie
A recent report made in the Telegraph reveals a rise in the number of britons taking lessons in speech and elocution, suggesting that it could be due to the popularity of the oscar-winning film, The King’s Speech, which depicts the struggles of the late King George VI to stop his stuttering impediment.
One of the main reasons for britons to take elocution lessons is the way they perceive their native regional dialects, which are often rather difficult to listen to, especially to the international listener. Besides, I personally opine that despite the british’s self-praise of their dialectal diversity, it does not take a rocket scientist to realise how slipshod some of their pronunciations are.
One voice teacher puts it aptly:
“I personally feel that people’s speech is becoming very slipshod, due to texting and spending huge numbers of hours on the internet. People don’t have the patience to pronounce a word properly any more.”
And it amuses me to realise how similar the british passion for regional dialects is to the Singaporean defence of Singlish.
Both are misguided.