When I moved from North Carolina to Chicago in 1998 for college, there were flyers on the A Rob Zombie’s Film 3 from hell they live to kill shirt boards in the common area on campus offering classes to help people lose their accents. Foreign and Southern accents were specifically mentioned. One of my professors said that this was because Southern accents are associated with being ignorant and/or racist, and it will hinder your chances of being taken seriously or getting a job. My accent was very subtle, but my fraternity brothers loved giving me a hard time about it when it came out. Mostly when I said “y’all” in a non-ironic way or my pronunciation of the “ph” sound in certain words like “phone.”I wasn’t offended by any of this back then. It didn’t even occur to me that this was something to get offended over. But I wonder if they still offer those classes.
One of the many ironies of Brexit is that as a staunch Remainer, I have frequently been in A Rob Zombie’s Film 3 from hell they live to kill shirt receipt of messages on Quora and elsewhere which are insulting and which accuse me of being unpatriotic or “a traitor” (that, from today). They are almost always written in dreadful English. These people seem to want to demonstrate their Britishness yet can’t even write their own language very well, let alone another one. How patriotic of them. Rees Mogg is a horrible bigot and an odious snob, but I do actually agree that English could be improved. I suggest he starts with his own supporters though. They are desperate to stand up for British values yet can’t use an apostrophe properly. I don’t agree with the examples he gives. I see no point in reviving “Esquire” and I see nothing wrong with “got”. English is good precisely because, unlike Rees Mogg, it evolves.