Another blog new to me, this time courtesy of a mention in Sentence First: Ben Trawick-Smith’s Dialect Blog. Ben is an actor with a serious interest in linguistics; on his FAQ page he says “I became interested in dialects as an actor, then this interest become an obsession all its own. … I have spent over a decade studying dialects intensely. And any time there is a gap in my knowledge, I try to be forthright about this.” He writes about a wide range of subjects; the top few posts on the front page right now are Glide Deletion in the American South, “Dude:” Thoughts on an American Word, Singing in Dialect, and Is the glottal stop bad for you?. In the last, he says with appropriate sternness:
And this is where, methinks, the legacy of class rears its ugly head. Glottal stopping is associated with accents—Cockney, African American Vernacular English, the Bronx—that are stigmatized. I have no doubt that generations of diction coaches and voice professionals were taught that the sound was “ugly” for this very reason. And while few will admit as such, you can still find people, such as prescriptivist language blogger Benjamin Chew, who will openly state the thinking behind this:
If one wishes to be a speaker of elegant English, then one has to avoid glottal stops. The so-called language professionals may disagree and start waxing eloquent about linguistic diversity. I am all for healthy diversity, NOT unhealthy ones, not one that allows incorrect and poor English to run rampant.
One can almost smell the whiff of Twinings wafting from the Edwardian drawing room, can’t one?
One can indeed. I recommend bookmarking and checking regularly.