Discuss "It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman despise him."

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The term “Englishman” generally refers to the people who live in England, a country part of the United Kingdom. All Englishmen communicate with one common language, which is English. However, one Englishman may use a type of English language that is different from the type of English language used by another Englishman. The types or varieties of English language differ by features of grammar, vocabulary and phonology and this is known as dialect. The pronunciation, otherwise known as accent, of the different varieties of English is also prevalent. In the past, in England, any accent which differs from Received Pronunciation (RP), the variety of English used by the Queen and British Broadcast Corporation (BBC), is considered inferior.  According to “An English accent” video clip, RP is associated to upper class, prestige and privilege. RP is taught in schools especially prestigious schools. Therefore, if an Englishman speaks without the RP accent, he may be despised by another Englishman because it means that he is not from the upper class or is not very educated. In recent years, RP is not widely used. Post-modernity has lead to people, especially young people, having less conformity to standards and being anti-institutions. Hence, few young people use RP in today’s time. The mindset of the people now is that if someone uses RP, he is considered unfriendly. Likewise, an Englishman who uses RP may also be despised by an Englishman who doesn’t use RP, because the man who is using RP may be looked upon as being hostile. An Englishman, based on his class, gender, ethnicity and age, may despise the dialect or accent of another Englishman because of the prejudices or biasness he have to that certain dialect. Therefore, Shaw’s remark in the preface to Pygmalion is valid and true.

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According to Morrow (2003), Pygmalion articulates one of Shaw's theories about language--that the poor lack social mobility, at least in part, because of their inability to pronounce or use English well. Being almost entirely self-taught, Shaw sympathized with those who tried to teach themselves by reading. Hence, Shaw made such a remark in the preface.

People in the lower class are conscious of the association of Standard English with the upper class and some of them have made an effort to speak like the upper class. Labov’s findings from his investigation on the New York City speakers ...

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