How sad that the regional accent debate is still seen to be relevant in 2015. The BBC's Broadcasting House programme on Radio 4 today dealt with it really well - exposing the continuing prejudice of 'Oxford English' speakers to regional accents when dealing with serious topics. It's not good enough to say that we now have equality of accent by pointing out that popular entertainment programmes feature Cheryl, Ant & Dec, Adrian Chiles, Tess Daly. Regional accents aren't just about comedy or reality TV or sport - we do serious stuff too.
The research conducted by Dr Katie Edwards at the University of Sheffield shows how our prevailing culture still continues to link accent to intellect, with regional accents (different vowel sounds) however clearly spoken communicating stupidity. The title of the post is something that was actually said to Dr Edwards who has a accent not unlike mine.
Closer to home - a lecturer at the University of the West of England actually ridiculed students with northern accents as 'stupid' in a lecture a few weeks ago - my son's girlfriend was one of the ones being ridiculed.
Reason to bow to pressure and change my vowel sounds to fit with the establishment? No way, and shame on those who think they have to be 'posher' to be taken seriously.