People with northern accents are considered less intelligent than southerners

Northerners like Ant and Dec, Jimmy Nail and Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner are said to be “friendly and trustworthy” – but “less educated” than their Southern counterparts

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner
Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner

Bad news if you have a heavy Nordic accent — people will assume you’re “less intelligent” than a southerner, according to a new study.

Research by a team from Northumbria University in Newcastle warns that prejudice still drives deep injustice across Britain.

The four-year project surveyed more than 350 people from all walks of life.

It warned that “accentism” is rampant because most people are unaware of their “unconscious bias”. Northerners like Ant and Dec, Jimmy Nail and Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner are said to be “friendly and trustworthy” – but “less educated” than their Southern counterparts.

Glasgow-born Dr. Robert McKenzie, 55, a sociolinguist who led the project, said most people are unaware of their accent bias.







Ant and Dec are from Newcastle
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Britain’s Got Talent/Youtube)

“Disappointed is the word I would use,” he said. “As linguists, we have been looking at language this way for 50 years.

“People still think others sound stupid, lack intelligence or ambition, or sound unfriendly when they speak.

“It’s not based on reality — it’s based on social judgments in the wider community.”

His team played Northern and Southern language samples to the study participants. They asked them to attribute positive qualities to these voices, such as whether they sounded educated.

People were much more biased when it came to northern English accents. The Speaking of Prejudice project found that most were surprised that they had unconscious biases outside of their awareness or control.

The Social Mobility Commission supports legislation making background a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010 alongside race, sex and other forms of discrimination.

In another recent study of 300,000 civil servants, those with the “right accent” often got the top jobs and had a better chance of climbing the corporate ladder.

Employees who were promoted were likely to have had the right accent or “received pronunciation” and “intellectual access” to the culture.

dr McKenzie added: “It’s like the old-school tie, it gives people space when they don’t deserve it.” Angela Rayner, Labor’s deputy leader, has previously hit back at critics of her “accent and grammar”.

After the Partygate scandal in January, the deputy union leader tweeted: “I was in the media this morning so my accent and grammar are being criticized.







Jacob Rees-Mogg speaks to journalists in Westminster, London
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“I’m not Eton educated but growing up in Stockport I was taught integrity, honesty and decency. It doesn’t matter how you say it. Boris Johnson is incapable of leading.”

Another political victim was Jacob Rees-Mogg. “A long time ago he ran for Parliament in Fife, they obviously put him to the test,” said Dr. McKenzie, who grew up near Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

“He said he felt he suffered in the elections because of his accent, that people wouldn’t vote for him because they saw him as an outsider. So it works both ways.”

The work will be presented at the British Academy this week in London.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/people-northern-accents-deemed-less-27233973 People with northern accents are considered less intelligent than southerners

Fry Electronics Team

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