Working-class repertoire

 

Don’t deploy slang, posh is better by far

Don’t drop your aitches or mispronounce the schwa

It ain’t me, it’s my working-class repertoire

 

Don’t say ‘bruvver’, it’s ‘brother’; it’s ‘mother’, not ‘ma’

Try to sound a little more, well, lah-di-dah

It ain’t me, it’s my working-class repertoire

 

Don’t speak Sylheti, Farsi, or Yoruba

Don’t translanguage – you’re not in Catalonia

It ain’t me, it’s my working-class repertoire

 

Don’t cleave the English language in bloody half

Don’t treat speech like a linguistic abbatoir

It ain’t me, it’s my working-class repertoire

 

See whether you can speak like a fine cigar

On this subject see Gonzalez & Pujolar –

It ain’t me, it’s my working-class repertoire

 

Don’t read The Sun, why not try The Telegraph

Don’t treat language like you live in the public bar

It ain’t me, it’s my working-class repertoire

 

Don’t give me that vernacular blah-blah-blah

Leave it at home with your Burberry cap and scarf

It ain’t me, it’s my working-class repertoire

 

Adrian Blackledge, Professor of Bilingualism at University of Birmingham and Birmingham Poet Laureate

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