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We should be proud of our culture in the Black Country

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 24, 2014

By Gordon Hensman

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I SEE that Ivor Morgan (Bugle letters, January 9 edition), has jumped on to the "BC bandwagon" with an over-egged, pseudo-intellectual and dismissive letter about the current interest in our dialect.

He is the most recent in a long line of denigrators of our Anglo-Saxon language.

They range from Norman Conquerors, through to Victorian lower middle class snobs and pretentious Oxbridge educators who have attempted to impose perceived pronunciation/BBC English on the entire country last century, and the latest generation of teachers – controlled by OFSTED Inspectors and the National Curriculum.

I do not criticise, in a faux erudite manner, those who have endeavoured to write down BC dialect. I just note that it is a difficult task, and so resorting to phonetic spelling is the sensible thing to do.

Our dialect differs from one district to another, and, of course, has altered – acquiring and discarding a whole galaxy of words, expressions and pronunciations – as have all languages.

The really important thing is that it has survived all onslaughts for over a millennium, and I praise the efforts of the likes of Dr. Billy Spakemon and Lizzie, as well as many others, to elevate BC culture and dialect to take their place in the pantheon of British achievements.

The Scots (with many regional variations) are rightly proud, the Geordies, Liverpudlians, Yorkists, Welsh, Irish, et al, are proud of their distinctiveness.

Why shouldn't we be proud, also? Remember, that BC Culture is little known in the rest of the country, and tends to be despised and even confused with Brumigem.

Yet we have the greatest claim to be the birthplace of the "World Changing" Industrial Revolution! What an achievement! Pro bon publico.

Gordon Hensman,

gwjhensman@aol.com

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