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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile Re: British Big Cheeses

    John Major had trouble with 'want', Michael Howard could never say 'people'. Mr Osborne's problem word is 'worry' which comes out as 'warry'.

    He said that 'millions of people are desperately warried' and no doubt they are - not least about his pronunciation.

    Gordon Brown took a fearful bashing.
    QUENTIN LETTS: His tweety-bow lips formed a lemon suck of disapproval | Mail Online

    Hi! This is an excerpt from an article by Daily Mail's columnist. Could someone explain the background or connotations of the texts as below? (I know Major and Howard were former prime ministers)

    Q1: John Major had trouble with 'want' - What does 'want' mean? Money?

    Q2: Michael Howard could never say 'people'=?

    Q3: Why did the columnist ridicule Osborne's accent? I don't believe every Briton speaks Queen's English. It is usual people speak with some accent more or less, isn't it? What does "no doubt they are" refer to?

    Many thanks!

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: British Big Cheeses

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    QUENTIN LETTS: His tweety-bow lips formed a lemon suck of disapproval | Mail Online

    Hi! This is an excerpt from an article by Daily Mail's columnist. Could someone explain the background or connotations of the texts as below? (I know Major and Howard were former prime ministers)

    Q1: John Major had trouble with 'want' - What does 'want' mean? Money?
    He means the word 'want'; Major said something quite close to /wʌnt/.

    Q2: Michael Howard could never say 'people'=?
    He means the word 'people'; Howard's /l/ was very clear (like the /l/ in 'leek' rather than the one in 'keel'). To add to the problem, he couldn't manage the thing that linguists call 'lateral plosion'; he said ['pi:pəl]. Read a bit more here (but not much more without paying, I fear ) http://www.lotsofessays.com/essay_se...l_Plosion.html


    Q3: Why did the columnist ridicule Osborne's accent? I don't believe every Briton speaks Queen's English. It is usual people speak with some accent more or less, isn't it? What does "no doubt they are" refer to?

    Many thanks!
    Q3 - I agree, and the 'no doubt they are' is just another cheap shot - it means 'it is not surprising that they are [worried]'; another idiomatic (though perhaps slightly dated) way of saying this is 'and well they might be'.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 30-Sep-2008 at 12:22. Reason: Added link

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: British Big Cheeses

    Thank you very much, BobK.

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