All this "who is plummy" business in the oo ah ee aye thread has set me thinking that identifying three different voices on the AUE site as just "RPspeaker" with various numbers is misleading especially for non-Brits, since it suggests there must be something wrong with their ears if those three voices are supposed to have the same accent: the one called "RP".
I'd suggest a classification that was "contemporary RP" (Arthur No. 2 and Rainbow No. 1), "archaic RP" (or "old-style RP" if whoever it is takes exception to "archaic"; Arthur No. 1), "estuarian RP" (Ferdinand No. 1), and "Home Counties" (Arthur No. 3, an accent not heard much any more in anyone under 50, having been estuaried out of business).

For me, as I said in the other thread, by far the most representative sample of what I think most Brits understand by "RP" nowadays the RP accent that is used in British EFL, for instance is whoever it is reading "Arthur" as No. 2 and "Rainbow" as No. 1: the one I suggest above calling "contemporary RP" or even just RP and dumping the others.
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Ross Howard
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I'd suggest a classification that was "contemporary RP" (Arthur No. 2 and Rainbow No. 1), "archaic RP" (or "old-style RP" ... (Arthur No. 3, an accent not heard much any more in anyone under 50, having been estuaried out of business).

I think "Old-Style RP" has to be subdivided further, but it would help if we could get a recording from a1a. Those edumucated British accents you can hear in any 'Thirties-era BrE film sound nothing like any sort of edumucated British accent of the present day, though there's a hint of Australo-Sithefrican in them. I figure that a1a is old Old Style, while people like, say, Stephen Toogood (say, ...) or Katy Edgcombe might be "new Old Style". Just a guess, as I've never heard any of these people speak. Then there's Mark Barratt (say, ...) who has made a recording somewhere or other, and he has that New Labour sort of sound IIRC.
For me, as I said in the other thread, by far the most representative sample of what I think most ... "Rainbow" as No. 1: the one I suggest above calling "contemporary RP" or even just RP and dumping the others.

Why not go a bit further and concede that RP is, FAPP, dead dead? Does anyone under age 50, say, speak RP in any interesting sense? All I hear is this or that variety of Estuary English, as I understand EE. You have this continuum with Educated Estuary at one end (say, the New Labour accent) and Near-pure Cockney on the other. I don't know from Home Kyneties.
I'd suggest a classification that was "contemporary RP" (Arthur No.2 and Rainbow No. 1), "archaic RP" (or "old-style RP" if whoever it is takes exception to "archaic"; Arthur No. 1), "estuarian RP"(Ferdinand No. 1),

"Estuarian RP"? What will Clarence make of that?
and "Home Counties" (Arthur No. 3, an accent not heard much any more in anyone under 50, having been estuaried out of business).

Without having heard it, "Home Counties" isn't (to me) a clear description. I'm not sure whether it would be a sort of upmarket Estuary or some flavour of RP. After all, both Estuary and RP are accents with origins in the London area.
As an ex-Oxbridge student who still says Emotion: bat and (gras) (and I'm hardly the only one), I'm glad you've avoided suggesting associating any of these accents with Oxbridge.
Jonathan
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I think "Old-Style RP" has to be subdivided further, but it would help if we could get a recording from ... like any sort of edumucated British accent of the present day, though there's a hint of Australo-Sithefrican in them.

I'm putting up a 20-second clip of the BBC newsreader and announcer John Snagge, who flourished during the 1939-45 war and its aftermath. The clip was taken from the introduction to an episode from the radio adaptation of Dad's Army , a long-running sitcom on Britain's Home Guard; so he made it in the 1970s in the style of the 1940s. I propose him as typefying "Old-Style RP". (I think I've queried here recently his rendering of "Nazi", which you can hear in this.)

http://www.meticula.plus.com/Sounds/JohnSnagge.mp3

Matti

He already calls it "cockney" (with lowercase c). (My response should not be read as implying that I approve of the name 'Clarence', ISBN.)
2 (Ferdinand "Estuarian RP"? What will Clarence make of that?

He already calls it "cockney" (with lowercase c). (My response should not be read as implying that I approve of the name 'Clarence', ISBN.)

I admit that the distinction between what I've been calling "educated Estuary" and "estuarian RP" is a pretty nebulous one. So nebulous I think I'd best drop it altogether.
"Estuary" in general is really pretty hopeless, since it covers everything from clipped (real) Cockney and whiny Mockney to the Dagenham Drawl and New Labour, etc., etc.
I really think we need to call the accents that produce various pronunciations of "something else" as various combinations of bits of ('sVmTIN 'Els), ('samTIN 'Els), (samfIN 'Els) and ('sanIN 'kEus) (with apologies for any imprecisions there) something else other than just one thing, "Estuary".
Let's face it, Tony Blair doesn't talk anything like David Beckham, so calling them both "Estuary speakers" is not really much more precise than just calling them "BrE speakers" and being done with it.

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Ross Howard
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Why not go a bit further and concede that RP is, FAPP, dead dead?Does anyone under age 50, say, speak RP in any interesting sense?

Yes, there are a few. I've met some of them.
This of course depends on how you define RP, but I don't think anyone would have thought of the people I'm talking about as speaking "Estuary", or any accent from outside the South-East.

I'm sure fewer people of my age speak RP (by which I mean the sort of accent associated with the public school (UK meaning, of course) system and some middle-class people in southern England) than would have done 40 years ago, say. You used to get educated people from northern England (and sometimes even Scotland) adopting RP - this doesn't happen much now (1). The number of people you hear speaking Estuary could be due to a similar process affecting the South-East.

(1) Though an accent like mine has certainly been influenced by it.

Jonathan
I'm sure fewer people of my age speak RP (by which I mean the sort of accent associated with the public school (UK meaning, of course) system and some middle-class people in southern England) than would have done 40 years ago, say.

I thought we'd sort-of-established that RP is not the same as "public school", "Oxbridge", "upper-class" or similar phrases. RP is classless, neutral, pure-vowelled. The best exemplar I can come up with is Michael Aspel, who may be familiar outside Britain as the current presenter of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow . He spoke RP back in the 1950s, and he speaks the (different) RP now.
Matti
I thought we'd sort-of-established that RP is not the same as "public school", "Oxbridge", "upper-class" or similar phrases. RP is classless, neutral, pure-vowelled.

That sounds like what a1a himself would say.
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