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Did everyone used to speak English with a foreign accent in the past?

Fig.1. Images from my Google Pics gallery

We are collectively being tipped into a centenary marking of the First World War where all ‘foreigners’ speak english with an accent; we have German, Russian, French … we have Serbian and Austro-Hungarian ‘english’. We even have Americans voiced by English actors speaking … english with an American accent.

I remember my son asking if everything was ‘black and white’ in the olden days; that until recently people grew up in a black and white world. Will a young generation watching TV on the centenary of the First World War imagine that language difference is simply a matter of accent?

It’s all compromise and accommodation

It’s very much the BBC perspective: which as the ONLY public service broadcaster the world has tries so hard to represent everyone. I have my say here – Jonathan Vernon on Hastings 1918

WBC anyone?

The World or Globe or Earth or … whatever ‘Broadcasting Company’?

For all or any failings the effort, transparently at least, to strive for ‘truth’ based on evidence of what is going on.

The Open University has been, was and should take the lead. I wonder, with concern that the legacy of Michael Bean has been to trim back too hard and so diminish us to a voice from the corner of the empire.

I hope the next Vice Chancellor will be a global figure. Bill Clinton comes to mind.

‘Read in a subject until you can hear the people speak’.

E H Carr.

It has taken a forty years but I feel I have the voice of the soldier of the First World War – and the officer, and the girlfriends and mothers at home.


Social Media – Listen for long enough then join in and draw your own conclusions

‘Research a subject until the research reveals the narrative’.

Sounds like an excuse for there being no assessment, but perhaps reflects how we pick things up through ‘doing’.

I caught this on Radio 4, Saturday 9.00am, 9 days ago? I’d reference it if I could.

The historian E.H.Carr said,’Read bout a period until you can hear its people speak.’

It’s what took me to Oxford to read Modern History and what for some periods in history inspired me to attempt screenplays on the events in the year 1066 … and 850 years later on the Western Front. It’s the quote that impressed Bill Clinton enough to quote it in his autobography. It suggests, short of being their, you must immerse yourself in a subject in order to understand it, in order to be able to speak its language.

I wonder if, after nine weeks at the Open University Business School, that I hear its people speak?

I’ve interviewed a number of them, and will interview many more. I wonder if my role in Social Media is to release these voices to allow the wider community to draw their only conclusions, to assist with their research. I will be speaking to key thinkers, the movers and shakers. I will bring their blogs to you, if you’re not aware of them already. You will meet them online and perhaps engage in conversations with them too.

The narrative is a complex one; all the more reason to enable one crowd/audience to engage with another; it isn’t my interpretation at all, that counts. I can offer voices, and interpret the narrative, but this is my take on it. Better that I make the introductions like a virtual host between people. Through discussions and conversations shared in micro-blogs, blogs, and emails do we hurry along that moment when we have some sense of where each of us has a contribution to make?

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