Perceptions 'affected by accent'To many linguists, that headline is roughly as surprising as this one would be:
Accent could affect how intelligent people are thought to be, a new study suggests.
Sun rises in east,But it actually reports a pretty straightforward study by Lance Workman, an evolutionary psychologist at Bath Spa University. The researchers played Birmingham ('Brummie') and Yorkshire accents to subjects while showing them pictures of female models and showed the pictures with no sound as well. Subjects rated the intelligence of the people pictured. The rank, from most to least intelligent, was:
Sets in west, new study shows
But that aside, the big shock here is that on a quick read, this appears to be a BBC piece on language that is not utterly bat-shit crazy. Of course, they DID run the picture/caption above with the story. (Does any living human being think of Ozzy as particularly intelligent? Gene Simmons he ain't.)
In an interesting twist, they spend a lot of time saying – and quoting Workman saying – nice things about people from Birmingham and their intelligence. In the American media, we don't tend to get those disclaimers about the South.