The Story of English - Chapter 8, The Echoes of an English Voice Summary & Analysis

Robert McCrum
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Chapter 8, The Echoes of an English Voice Summary and Analysis

The English, Scots, and Irish took their mother tongue across the globe to Rhodesia, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Falklands, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

The London language called Cockney was often a sign of being low class. It was the speech of a worker in London, although it was not always that way. The "polite pronunciation" became the language of the southern English middle class, whose most distinctive feature is the long "a." The Education Acts of the late-Victorian years stressed "correct English" and isolated the speech of the London working class. Those in poverty in the East End were not much affected which led to the caricature. Cockney therefore began to attract the attention of English writers interested in the working classes. In Cockney, "w" is...

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