Monday, March 10, 2014


I`m a bit puzzled as to why there is so much interest in the Oscar Pistorius trial going on in South Africa.   Sky News seem obsessed with it and there are daily live streams of the courtroom drama, a phalanx of Sky reporters and special correspondents and even special programmes so you can catch up on events of the day - a bit like a more solemn version of Match of the Day.

Now it would be quite wrong to speculate on the outcome but having seen a summary of the first week of the trial I`m not sure he has a leg to stand on.   But that`s not important right now.   What`s more troublesome is the worldwide exposure once more of the South African accent, which grates on the senses perhaps more than any other. Now I accept that there are accents in this country that can claim to be equally annoying - Birmingham, Newcastle, anywhere in Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland - but on the global stage the South African whine is perhaps challenged only by the twangy accents in America.

Maybe the only way to establish once and for all which country has the most cringeingly awful accent is for the UN to appoint a special commission to study accents of the world and fund a programme of elocution lessons for the inhabitants of the `winning` nation.  I suspect it will be no contest.

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