The Lack of Compliments

What I also find amusing is that the further north you go, the regional accent is all you hear, racial background doesn’t get a look in. If you live in Yorkshire, you’re assimilated and will sound like it.

The affected accent is what you get inside the M25 and further south.
Ish, in my homeland of the West Midlands there are definite halfway house accents of Birmingham (or Black Country) mixed with whatever else the speaker has got going on (whether Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Nigerian, etc) - but once you get to about Stoke upwards everyone sounds like everybody else. South of Birmingham it's much more stratified as you suggest.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Ish, in my homeland of the West Midlands there are definite halfway house accents of Birmingham (or Black Country) mixed with whatever else the speaker has got going on (whether Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Nigerian, etc) - but once you get to about Stoke upwards everyone sounds like everybody else. South of Birmingham it's much more stratified as you suggest.
You think? Durham, where I’m from, can still be a different accent from village to village.
 
It does seem to be the case that Filipinas make poor life choices in the romance stakes.
There are job opportunities here but the contemporary youth have a strange attitude, even if they are just in town from growing up on a subsistence farm... Status. Increasingly, boys want to get rich girls up the duff and live as playboy husbands, as seen on soap operas and other peoples real, or contrived, social media pages, and girls would rather starve than do menial work which, as students, is beneath them. All airs and graces but without two pesos to rub together.
The Philippines Me-Me-Me generation.
Unfortunately not restricted to da pinas, although being a You Tube star or influencer seems to be 'the' thing in UK.
Disappointing that it's reached so far around the globe :-(
 

Yokel

LE
It’s also quite amusing listening to kids from Surrey sound like they’re from Brixton, (and who would wet themselves if they found themselves in Brixton!), then when they bump into you on the bus revert to the posh Surrey accent they really have.
My late Uncle came from Jamaica - one of the Windrush generation. None of his children or grandchildren (ie my cousins) have any sort of inherited accent. They barely have London accents come to think of it, unlike many white family members.
 
You think? Durham, where I’m from, can still be a different accent from village to village.
given the discussion, I meant 'sound the same regardless of ethnicity', not 'all sound the same north of Birmingham.'

Live in the Black Country long enough and it's exactly the same as you say for Durham, though it's more amazing in the BC because there are no gaps between the settlements. You drive through one enormous built up area and the accents change round you.
 
given the discussion, I meant 'sound the same regardless of ethnicity', not 'all sound the same north of Birmingham.'

Live in the Black Country long enough and it's exactly the same as you say for Durham, though it's more amazing in the BC because there are no gaps between the villages. You drive through one enormous built up area and the accents change round you.

fixed
...about every 5 miles or so..... ;)
 

Aphra

Old-Salt
My late Uncle came from Jamaica - one of the Windrush generation. None of his children or grandchildren (ie my cousins) have any sort of inherited accent. They barely have London accents come to think of it, unlike many white family members.
I've found that the West Indian people of the Windrush generation I've met speak very good, if slightly old-fashioned English, often, as you say, with little or no accent. Unless clear enunciation and diction count. I guess they were, like many of us here, educated by people who spoke well and wore it as a badge of pride.

Talk of Filippino's reminders me: In late January this year I suffered some bites around my eye, not sure from what but as days passed the swelling got worse and it was clear they had become infected. I was feeling extremely unwell by this time, so off to the NHS Walk In Centre. I expected a long wait but the place was deserted, just one other person waiting. I was called in immediately by a tiny Filippina nurse who spoke exceptional English, even through her mask. Cellulitis was diagnosed and, as I declined a hospital visit, giant antibiotics (really, huge tablets) were dispensed. This nurse was very beautiful and I commented that she looked very like Lea Salonga, the musical theatre star who was the original Miss Saigon. Turned out, nurse is a distant cousin and laughingly told me she couldn't sing a note. She was a pleasure to deal with, as I said online and in the email I sent her manager. It took me five minutes to send but hopefully was a welcome positive note among the drunks and druggies they usually deal with.
 
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olafthered

LE
Book Reviewer
You think? Durham, where I’m from, can still be a different accent from village to village.
Street to Street in villages!

Where villages have run together over the years you can tell which one has grown to where by the accents... (former Browney inhabitant).
 
Many years ago, must have been about the early 'sixties' when the Readers' Digest was in its heyday, it had a one page feature called 'Humour in Uniform'
One of the anecdotes featured a British unit or the British border guard force.
Apparently at that time there was a regular interation with a Russian counterpart maybe at a border crossing who made life as difficult as possible for the British personnel whereas the other Soviets were no trouble, there was zero interaction with them.
Repeated complaints up the chain made no difference, things carried on in the same way, That is until someone had a brilliant idea, A letter was prepared and sent to the Four Powers praising how helpful towards the British contingent this Russian guard was and suggested he be commended.
He never appeared again !

The story above may have an element of myth in it but the one below regarding a brickbat rather than a compliment is quite true - except where I've changed the names.

I've mentioned up-thread that my wife was sometimes tasked with escorting shoppers from abroad. Not a personal shopper as (a) These are employed by the store and (b) no one has ever accused her of having a good fashion sense. Her main task was to facilitate things for those with more money than time and who knew what they were looking to buy. Her and colleagues were freelance who simply invoiced the in-bound tour agency for a flat fee. I make that point as it explains why she was able to assist in the matter.
There were two other players in this account of what happened, We have a long-time friend (in fact she and my wife were in junior school together) who worked in Harrods. For the sake of anonimity I'll call her by the unlikely name of Maud.
The other, a nasty piece of work with a screw loose, I shall refer to him as JohnG.

JohnG was a jack-the-lad who enjoyed being obnoxious, to fellow staff members but additionally, he took a perverse pleasure in sending-up foreign shoppers to their face secure as he thought that these foreigners wouldn't have a clue about , usually targeting Japanese, Koreans and Chinese - he was savvy enough not to mess with Arabs.
It was the sort of behaviour a broken nose might cure but there was no one to do that, Maud and her colleagues weren't in a position to grass him to management but they could tell from the body language of those on the receiving end that they they realised they were being insulted and it made Maud and others staff upset and embarrassed - In general, Harrods staff were proud of what they did and who they worked for.
So when Maud was unloading this to her, my wife had an idea and I got roped in too, together we would draft a letter from my wife to Harrods.

The letter explained my wife's concerns (which were quite genuine) that as a tour guide, she couldn't in all conscience place her clients in a position where they might be insulted; explaining gently sufficient enough for the shop to twig that if news of JohnG's actions got around the tourist business it might drive Asian customers away - not only that but it wasn't difficult to imagine the repercussions to both JohnG and the company if he was targeting certain races. The letter ended by saying, in essence, not to take my wife's word for it but suggested they might care to carry out their own inquires.
We received a pretty bland response to the effect of 'Thank you for your letter" so expected that would be the end of it.
But about three weeks later, Maud reported to us that JohnG had been summoned upstairs (or downstairs, for all I know) and the shit must had really hit the fan because he returned to the dept ashen-faced. He must have been shaken rigid because from that moment, he was a changed person, no more insulting customers who lacked the language skills to answer back, no more being objectionable to fellow staff members.
And who knows, a brickbat like that might have taught him a valuable lesson in life.
 
Horrible problems with uploading the new return to UK (from Spain) Randox test – the fault of their useless IT, not being compatible with my old-ish phone and tablet.

Attended their unit near Waterloo station this afternoon. Notwithstanding a fair amount of faffing involved – again to do with difficulties tracking down relevant code numbers (mine had been ordered for a home delivery, their records were only for London sites) – the problem was solved by the patience, ingenuity, and general helpfulness of two young people; I suspect both may be agency workers.

At the end of the tedious but ultimately successful process, I asked if I could have their names enabling my writing to the management in praise of their efforts. The sheer pleasure on the faces of Khaled and Elsie (I would guess from the Horn of Africa and somewhere in West Africa respectively) was warming to behold.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
A few years ago I was returning from an event in Italy my teenage nephew was pillion, the roads were flooded in places and we lost time due to the abysmal weather and traffic
He booked us into a Formul 1 in mulhouse
Got there really late, cold tired soaked
The code thing on the door would not work
I was getting to the stage where I was going to crash out by the bike at that time
After 20 minutes this thing would not work, party due to the fact that my nephew was trying to operate it in French, he would not believe an olf got who told him to change to english
Finally it gets through his skull and he swaps to english
Presses help and a voice answers in French at which we try our best French, the voice then swaps to English and said I will come and let you in
It seems they have a caretaker in each hotel
Lovely young chap from French Guyana, spoke perfect English and sorted us a better room on the ground floor to save us dragging all our bags upstairs
I asked if we could book two nights he said no problem
Next morning at breakfast it was all sorted
He was studying at the local University and this job gave him an income and accommodation
We thanked him when we left, and I wrote a letter to the group complimenting him on his customer care, good manners, and languige skills
I got a nice reply back later thanking me for taking the trouble to write and they passed the praise on to him in writing
Its only a small thing, but in a budget hotel he raised the bar
Lots of people work hard for companies with little reward, bit it's nice to return the compliment
I received a nice letter from an elderly client recently, it was very touching,
I will stick it with all the ones complaining!!
 

Allan74

Old-Salt
Its an interesting question. I was discussing something similar with my in-laws. All of this is caveated by it being pretty specific by age, class and culture, but:

There is a (multi) generational framework of manners which seems to be going out of fashion and being replaced by [something else] which has yet to be determined, so there are different replacement models competing. I suspect it is because of the internet, which has rapidly changed the default or affordable level of communication in the same way that the printing press did.

Some of this is good - much of the old framework of manners was not helping anyone much, and acted instead like straightjackets. Cowan's infamous sandwiches memo and the extraordinary expectations and constraints some middle class British people put on themselves and others (i.e. guests), which in no way "make others more comfortable" as per Debretts, and instead make them less comfortable and increase social awkwardness. Those manners were outdated and required change, they were only benefiting the small and dwindling population who expected or enforced them.

Much of this is not so good - the coarsening of 'authoritative' public debate and the concurrent devaluing of expertise (by the media, because they present non-expert talking heads as experts) and decrease of trust in experts does not promote social cohesion. The rapid democratisation of communication might amplify some quality voices which were previously unheard, but unless society contains >50% of those, it will amplify more trash voices too. Anyone who has spent time on any social media can see this. It's what happens when you remove all gatekeepers without a plan for what comes next.

The same thing applies to your Desk Manager. When you give everyone a voice while decreasing trust and social cohesion, you don't get happy mumbles, you get an angry mob. A bit late now to turn back the digital clock, so probably the best thing we can do is recognise the problem, and like you take steps to improve our individual behaviour, and encourage others to do the same. If enough people do that, your Desk Manager might start getting compliments again instead of just complaints.
I think as well, there is much more information available on the Net which is why politicians and those in authority hate it....plus everyone these days is their own news team complete with camera and still the PTB don't get that point.

I'm terms of racism / poor behaviour, I wonder if it has always been around but now it simply getting filmed more either by civilians or the Police themselves e.g the number of US LEOs that appear on the Internet after doing something wildly inappropriate e.g being drunk and incoherent whilst driving a unmarked police car whilst being tooled up in a big way...
 
Compliments are perhaps more common in the hospitality industry than the recycling industry.
I was clearing out the tat left by tenants, I had an estate car full. When I arrived at the council tip, I asked for some help with sorting the stuff.
One of the men grabbed two old supermarket trolleys gave me one, together with instructions as to what went where. He filled the other and headed off, saying "See you back here!"
On one trip I dropped a glass, he appeared with a broom immediately.
I was so impressed I wrote to the council, they replied saying that the tip manager had shown the letter to the man, who was dumbstruck. No one had even written to the council praising the tip staff.
 
Because the standard of home-grown talent is often dire. If @Legs had said nearer east I wouldn't have been surprised, either.

I've said it before: round here, if the staff in a coffee shop are slim, smiling, efficient and friendly, they're typically Eastern European. If they're white English, they're typically tubby, not too bright, surly and speak to me in some strangulated pseudo-BAME accent.

Oh, and they need a calculator to do even the most basic arithmetic.
Not always. A friend runs a place in York and all his staff are all friendly, efficient and from all over the place including locals. He demands high standards, but he also pays well.
 

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