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I often read 'Is it standard?'
So I have looked up an article discussing this matter:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_English

Then I thought the fact that we learners of the English language are supposed to follow this direction that we call standard rules makes us, for better or worse, one group of 'victims' of eliticism of one sort.
"Standard English is only spoken by a very small part of the population of the British Isles (about 12-15%)." -- Emotion: surprise

"Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite — a selected group of people with outstanding personal abilities, wealth , specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or that these are persons whose views should be regarded as carrying the most weight, or, more simply, these people are best fit to govern or whose views and/or actions are mostly likely to be constructive. Alternatively, the term elitism could be used to describe a situation in which power is in fact concentrated in the hands of an elite, whether rightly or not."

What is your comment on this?
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Comments  
I think that there are two issues being confused here with 'standard' English. Standard English with regards to grammar and so on, and a standard English accent.

We may speak a regional (non-standard) English accent (this is what the only 12-15% figure is talking about) but most people still use primarily standard English grammar etc, particularly in writing. I don't have a standard English accent but I do use standard English 'the language', if you see what I mean. At least most of the time. I don't think there is anyone without a few regional/class slang or dialect words. Even the URP people have their own little selection.

Learners should definitely learn standard English 'the language'. There is nothing elitist about it. Everyone uses it bar the very uneducated. When it comes to accent, you have to pick one of them, and standard is the most easily understood by everyone. There are English accents that even other English people have difficulties understanding. It would be pretty pointless to choose to learn one of those. You couldn't find any English accent that was spoken by the majority of people here, we have so many. I'd say 12-15% probably makes it one of the most common accents, if not THE most common accent, spoken in England.

For example, in my local area a lot of people use glottal stops and drop their h's. (I try not to). It is a non-standard accent. However, when they write those words, they don't spell them in a funny way, they use standard English spelling.
Hi Nona.
Thanks.
What does URP stand for? what is it?
With 12 percent at the top of the list -- English must be quite diverse.
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URP - I'm not really sure. It's an extreme form of RP (received pronounciation). It's the upper class version so possibly upper RP.

Yes, English is very diverse here, with many regional accents. I know someone who reckons you can tell which end of their village people live in as the two ends have slighlty different accents!
Hi Nona,

Could you tell us what your accent is like? How would you describe it?

Englishuser
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Forming a negative opinion about someone solely on his or her accent is a form of elitism.
I don't know, south east of England in between the working class and middle class accents. Working class accent but without the more extreme features such as dropping my h's and glottal stopping everywhere, or saying f for th, and using words like 'youse'. 'Educated working-class south east of England accent' might sum it up.
<"Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite — a selected group of people with outstanding personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or that these are persons whose views should be regarded as carrying the most weight, or, more simply, these people are best fit to govern or whose views and/or actions are mostly likely to be constructive.>

If you omit wealth from that passage, it could also fit many linguistic groups who form elites. If you want to be part of the elite in my region, you have to speak the local dialect and well - Standard English speakers are seen as ponces. If you want to be part of my 19-year-old's elite, you have to be in the age bracket of 18-20 and speak his argot well. Elites abound.
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