Zummerzet?

Media coverage of the floods in the Somerset Levels has been bizarre, even for media coverage of floods (which is always bizarre: ritualistic, actually). Much can be said about this. Much should be said about this. But I’m more interested in an intriguing – and potentially rather telling – detail: the almost total lack of proper Zummerzet accents from the locals interviewed by broadcast news. When these – curiously openly emotional about a weather event for supposed country people I keep thinking* – people speak, they speak without pronounced ‘R’s’, ‘S’s’ do not turn to ‘Z’s’, and the grammar and flow of their speech is distinctly non-West Country.

I draw no conclusions from this, I merely observe.

*Writing here as a confirmed country person, an absolute and undeniable hick, the sort that can’t help but be so even when living in an urban environment.

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4 comments

  1. Interesting. That I can assure you doesn’t remotely occur for Irish Flood coverage. Well, the ritualistic bit does but not the accents.

    1. I noticed that too from what I saw of the BBC coverage.

      Is it a case of the Estuary accent expanding to the far reaches of southern England (I would have thought unlikely), or to what extent would locals have been priced out of an area like the Somerset Levels?

      1. Almost certainly the latter (and it’s notable that a lot of the flooded houses shown were pretty new and were not built to country styles). Suspect also a tendency by the media to talk mostly to people ‘like them’.

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