There are those who argue that Welsh speakers need to learn to take a joke.
According to some, we should just accept our language being the subject of derision because you know; the lolz.
Those who believe that don’t understand the damaging impact prejudice towards the language has had.
The ‘comedian’ Omid Djalili recently received a barrage of criticism for his unimaginative and crass take on a banal old trope.
He said: “There are worse things than being Welsh, dyslexic and having a terrible stutter. But not many.”
It could cause a stooshie or a hootenanny, depending on your viewpoint, but Scots, the dialect or language that has been spoken in Scotland for several centuries, may get its own agency to help it survive.
Nicola Sturgeon is under internal pressure from SNP activists in this UN year of indigenous languages to recognise Scots as an official language. It could mean it is treated like Gaelic, which was given its own statutory agency, Bord na Gaidhlig, after a catastrophic drop in native speaker numbers.
AS a baby boomer myself, I have mixed feelings about the latest linguistic weapon of generational warfare being deployed against us. Am I OK with “OK Boomer,” the flippant yet passive retort from millennials or members of Generation Z whenever anyone of my generation decries the dangers of e-scooters or overreactions to climate change?
The latest series of the television show Love Island is over, with Amber and Greg now snuggling up as the most recent winners – at least until the winter version starts in January 2020.
As well as bringing us a fresh group of islanders and a new villa to admire, the January series is likely to throw up many of the same linguistic debates as previous series.
Yes, you read that right – linguistics. For nary a season of Love Island, or any programme predominantly aimed at young people, may pass without a flurry of grumpy think pieces on the protagonists’ language habits. And few linguistic habits cause as much ranting from those seeking to protect the fair English tongue as use of the word like.
English speakers have been deprived of a truly functional, second person plural pronoun since we let “ye” fade away a few hundred years ago.
“You” may address one person or a bunch, but it can be imprecise and unsatisfying. “You all”—as in “I’m talking to you all,” or “Hey, you all!”—sounds wordy and stilted. “You folks” or “you gang” both feel self-conscious. Several more economical micro-regional varieties (youz, yinz) exist, but they lack wide appeal.
While Torres’s work does not have generalized conclusions, as the study is ongoing, its implications are potentially far-reaching. Torres said she has referenced other research that displays a certain bias in listeners toward non-accented speakers. That is, they are more likely to ally with speakers who do not have an accent.
That such prejudice could be ingrained in children as young as 5 years old should be of great concern to a society attempting to become more egalitarian.
As smart assistants and voice interfaces become more common, we’re giving away a new form of personal data — our speech. This goes far beyond just the words we say out loud.
Speech lies at the heart of our social interactions, and we unwittingly reveal much about ourselves when we talk. When someone hears a voice, they immediately start picking up on accent and intonation and make assumptions about the speaker’s age, education, personality, etc. Humans do this so we can make a good guess at how best to respond to the person speaking.
But what happens when machines start analyzing how we talk?
"Hearing generic language to describe a category of people, such as “boys have short hair,” can lead children to endorse a range of other stereotypes about the category, a study by researchers at NYU and Princeton University has found. Their research, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), also points to more effective methods to reduce stereotyping and prejudice."
Prejudice about regional accents is still prevalent in Britain, and can lead to discrimination, according to leading UCL neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott.
“Studies have shown that whether you are from the North or South, a Southern twang pegs the speaker as comparatively dimwitted, but also likely to be a nicer person than folks who speak like a Yankee.”