Wow, are we really still bothering with this kind of stuff?
Researchers at Bath Spa University have done a study of regional accents.
Yet another in-depth study into outdated stereotypes and time-warp misconceptions. I thought we’d slowly started to move on from such nonsense, but apparently not.
My criticism is not simply based on the fact that “speaking in a Birmingham accent gives a worse impression than saying nothing at all”.
It doesn’t matter, obviously, plus it patently isn’t true. But it represents the type of non-story that gets picked up far and wide simply because it is easy to dress up and fill a space.
The study of 48 (!) people was apparently designed to investigate stereotypes. Yet, inevitably, the way it is being covered simply helps perpetuate all those misguided myths and ignorant pigeonholes that some need to rely on so heavily.
Dr Lance Workman, who led the research and presented it to the British Psychological Society’s annual meeting in Dublin, does come up with a couple of absolute gems when discussing the study: “Surveys have shown that a lot of people associate Birmingham with criminal activity, and they associate criminal activity with low intelligence. Can I just say that whenever I’ve been to Birmingham I’ve found people to be very bright and friendly.”
The BBC also reports that he “said that his co-researcher on the study was a woman with a Birmingham accent who he regarded as being extremely intelligent”.
You know, some of my closest friends are Brummies.