Received Pronunciation


An 1891 teacher's handbook stated, “It is the business of educated people to speak so that no-one may be able to tell in what county their childhood was passed”.


In the first edition of the English Pronouncing Dictionary (1917) he named the accent "Public School Pronunciation" but for the second edition in 1926 he wrote: "In what follows I call it Received Pronunciation, for want of a better term." However, the term had been used much earlier by P.


He used the term "General British" (to parallel "General American") in his 1970s publication of A Concise Pronouncing Dictionary of American and British English and in subsequent publications.


Later editions (e.g., Gimson 2008) use the terms General, Refined and Regional RP.


Writing on his blog in February 2013, Wells wrote, "If only a very small percentage of English people speak RP, as Trudgill et al.

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Page generated on 2021-08-05