On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 07:29:03 +0100, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden Post by Tony Cooper
On Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:53:27 +0000, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison Post by Tony Cooper
While I have long been familiar with the meaning of "received
pronunciation", the reason for it being called that eludes me.
and attributes the introduction of the term to Daniel Jones. In his
1917 _English Pronouncing Dictionary_ he used the term "Public School
Pronunciation", but in the second edition (1926) he uses "Received
His first choice is, to me, sensible. RP, though, isn't. The general
definition of "Received" is "was given". I guess you can say that
certain people were given that type of pronunciation by their
upbringing, but the original term used by Jones is more logical to me.
Is there something about the word "Received" that I'm not considering?
I think PTD has answered this,
Yes, he did. A very complete answer that contained the key answer of
"received" meaning "socially accepted". I've never come across that
meaning, but I'll accept it.
Post by Katy Jennison
but I'd just like to add that RP (which
had changed over the past century, like everything else) is not
toff-speak as such. Some toffs do speak it, but most RP speakers are
not toffs at all. I should know, I speak it.
I rather surmised that, but I needed a good Subject Line.
The unwashed among us - those who are not practitioners or dabblers in
linguistics - think of it as BBC Pronunciation, but we don't think of
the people behind the BBC voices as toffs.
True once, but no longer. Curiously, John Reith, later Lord Reith, who
insisted that speakers on the BBC speak RP, didn't speak it himself.
In the early days of the BBC the pronuncation received by listeners was
Received Pronunciation.The first non-RP-ist on BBC was Wilfred Pickles:
Pickles was born in Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He
moved to Southport, Lancashire, with his family in 1929, and worked
with his father as a builder. He joined an amateur dramatic society,
and in a local production there met Mabel Celilia Myerscough
(1906–1989), all of whose family had been connected with the stage.
He remained a proud Yorkshireman, and having been selected by the
BBC as an announcer for its North Regional radio service, he went on
to be an occasional newsreader on the BBC Home Service during the
Second World War. He was the first newsreader to speak in a regional
accent rather than Received Pronunciation, "a deliberate attempt to
make it more difficult for Nazis to impersonate BBC
broadcasters", and caused some comment by wishing his fellow
northerners "Good neet".
In 1941, the BBC first allowed a Northern accent onto the air waves
in the shape of news reader Wilfred Pickles.
Some listeners were less inclined to believe the news when Pickles
was reading it.
This was not an early attempt at appealing more to the general
public, but actually a move to make it more difficult for Nazis to
impersonate BBC broadcasters!
Wilfred Pickles became a hero for some, but others were outraged:
there was no place for regional accents on the BBC! It was even said
that some listeners were less inclined to believe the news when
Pickles was reading it.
It's been mentioned here sometime ago that prior to WW2 all BBC
newsreaders and announcers were anonymous. During the war they
introduced themselves. One with a memorable name was Alvar Lidell:
It was during the Second World War that the BBC named its previously
anonymous announcers and newsreaders - to distinguish them from
enemy propagandists. During the war, "Here is the news, and this is
Alvar Lidell reading it" became an inadvertent catchphrase.
Announcing the British victory at El Alamein, he said "Here is the
news, and cracking good news it is too!" In 1943 he served with the
RAF as an intelligence officer (some of the time at Bletchley
Park), but returned to the BBC a year later. In 1946 he was
appointed chief announcer on the new BBC Third Programme, where he
remained for six years, maintaining the highest standards,
particularly over pronunciation and phrasing.
Peter Duncanson, UK