By Anonymous - 01/09/2013 22:35 - United States - Cypress

Today, my mom mentioned how she loves certain actor's "British" accent. I couldn't help but mention that there's no such thing, and that there are lots of different accents in Britain. She got pissed and lectured me for "lying" to her and trying to make her feel stupid. FML
I agree, your life sucks 34 561
You deserved it 20 286

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You deserved it. Maybe it's a different accent technically, but in layman's terms, a British accent is perfectly valid, just like an American accent.

To be fair, we women like to live with the knowledge that if someone is from England, they have a "sexy British accent."

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Logic? She told her mother there's no such thing as a British accent and then proceeded to explain how there is. "No such thing as a British accent" would require that there be no accents in Britain. I mean, I know how the point she was trying to make is *supposed* to work, but do any of the following make any logical sense: "I love fruit!" "Technically, there's no such thing as fruit. There are just lots of different things that are types of fruit that all taste differently." "I love the United States!" "Technically, there are no United States. There's just Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado..." "I love my body!" "Technically, you have no body. You just have trillions of different cells and you can't possibly love all of them so you're just ignorant and I'm smart."

The difference is that England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are completely different countries, rather than different states. In fact, some people from, say, London (the South of England) might not be able to understand someone from Fort William (the North of Scotland) even though they're both British.

To be fair, we women like to live with the knowledge that if someone is from England, they have a "sexy British accent."

Thete's nothin' like a hot British bloke saying "three" as "ffree." Gets me every time.

yeah, but not everyone can specify what is a Yorkshire accent and what is Leicester one, especially if they live in the US. Great Britain is a pretty small region.

If you say "beer can" with a British accent, it'll sound like you're saying "bacon" with a Jamaican one.

Regardless of the region, the blanket term of "British accent" should be sufficient. I wouldn't expect a British person to be able to differentiate easily between, say, a Boston and a New Jersey accent. They could probably tell the general region ("oh, they're both New England-ish") just as you could easily tell England from Scotland from Wales from Northern Ireland accents. OP was getting off on a technicality to feel superior and it's stupid.

Well, one says Bawston, and the other: New Joy-sey.

64, I said that aloud more than once. Earned a few strange looks too. :p

#64 not in my accent...

You've obviously never tried to hold a conversation with someone with a heavy Scottish accent. As a Brit, it's nice to see that OP isn't following the stereotype. When people hear my welsh accent they accuse me of lying about being British. -__-

i love the welsh accent! i live in cardiff and never get tired of hearing the accent :) but i totally agree about the scottish accent. my stepdads from glasgow and listening to his brother in law talk i can barely understand him. i think when Americans say 'British accent' they generally mean the southern accent. you know, say "barth", "parth". that sort of thing. think Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

The Glaswegians do have a thick accent, I'm Scottish and sometimes struggle with that one!

I always thought British was the catch all phrase for the myriad of accents native to the uk.

It could work like that, but there are still so many accents in Britain saying someone has a "British accent" won't make you picture any accent in particular.

15, honestly, it makes me think of Sir Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellan. Random thought, though...it seems like everyone in that country is knighted.

It's the same for pretty much any country or general area. People talk about Canadian or American accents, but different areas of both countries have their own different accents. But if someone said I had a Canadian accent I wouldn't say "actually there's no such thing. What you meant to say was, I have a Nova Scotian accent."

There aren't any major differences in American accents, unlike British ones which can be completely unique from each other.

Oh yeah there's hardly any difference between someone from Wisconsin and someone from Texas

No major difference between Oregon and Arkansas? Methinks you might need to travel a bit more before venturing an opinion on accents.

Come on now, 61. Think of people in Boston, think of people in New Jersey, think of Southern v Northern accents. Our country has a very, very diverse group of accents.

Being a woman from Texas who went to visit her parents in st.louis trust me, there is a BIG difference. I had to repeat myself several times in a drive through and eventually gave up and went inside to order because they couldn't understand. I've had several friends from up north around New York and New Jersey and you can def. tell there is a difference. And I was teased when I lived in Arizona because I "sound funny So I'm going to take an educated guess and say no matter where you go there will be a blanket term for "non natives" and "natives" will be the only people to actually be able to tell the difference.

#61 You must not travel around America much....

To some degree, 61 is correct. I grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and I could distinguish accents between the north, south, west and centre of the city. Now that I live in San Diego, I don't see a significant accent change for at least a couple hundred miles in any direction.

114, that's because you are in one region, that of the Southern California accent. It is the same from SD through L.A. and on up to Santa Barbara.

Wow 117, that was the point I was making. In Dublin, which is just a city of a million people, there are several accents. While in SoCal and stretching into Nevada and Arizona, there is only really one accent. In other words, one small area has lots of accents, while a much much larger area has one accent. Which is kinda what 61 was saying. Are you getting it now or do you need it to be spelled out more?

Britan is also a much smaller area for there to be accents. Eminent Domain in its finest.

You should learn Cockney (sp?) and then she will never know what the hell you are saying.

How would that even solve anything?

She would then know OP is not a liar.

Suddenly H disappears from the alphabet. "'Ello enry iggins!"

That's only if you have a central 'cockney' accent & are not of the upper class. Only those who were not taught to speak 'The Queens' English' dropped the 'h'. It was an immediate indicator of a lower socio economic class. My hubby is scouse and has a completely different accent to a Londoner.

Just let her keep believing. You will never win.

You deserved it. Maybe it's a different accent technically, but in layman's terms, a British accent is perfectly valid, just like an American accent.

I was waiting for someone to say that. Yeah there's Liverpool accents, Cockney, etc. but it still all falls under British, to pretty much the entire world. Because guess what? They all come from Britain.

That's what I was thinking. Of course there are many different accents from every region of Britain, but it's easier to just say its a British accent, especially if you're not familiar enough to name the specific accent. People will still know what you mean, anyway. I feel like OP just felt the need to be difficult and/ or a smartass by nitpicking.

Yes, it's true but many of us are able to read between the lines and figure out what the mom meant when she said "British" accent (most likely it's that Posh or whatever Hugh Grant speaks.) Americans also have different accents here Ex: New York, Jersey, Texas, Boston. Southern. Etc... Sometimes pronouncing certain words such as "pecans" or "coupons" can't give some an idea where you're from. (:

On a side note: how many of us watched "The Walking Dead" then followed it with "The Talking Dead" afterwards? I freaked out how many of the guest speakers/ actors on that show have a "British" accent? :P

The proper term is ENGLISH accent, because British could also include Northern Ireland, which has a completely different accent altogether.

Then there's also British-Columbia.. And all the other 'colonies' still under monarchy rule...

British Columbia is a Canadian Province. While still 'technically' we're a domain of the UK, we have our own constitution, so it's debatable as to whether we're a part of the UK anymore.

British does not include Northern Ireland. Britain is the island of England and Scotland. Look it up.

And Wales... don't forget the Welsh.

The problem with describing something as a generic 'British' accent is NOT the same as a generic 'American' accent. What people always seem to forget is that Scotland is NOT to England what Texas is to New York: it's more like Canada to America, and Wales is Mexico (Ireland can be Cuba for the sake of analogy). The 'United Kingdom' is NOT a country in the traditional sense. It's a kingdom made up of FOUR countries, three of which are on the same island. Geographically speaking these three are situated in 'Great Britain', although parts of them are in the British Isles. Purely geographically speaking, both Northern Ireland and Eire are also on a British isle. The problem with the term 'British accent' is that most of these countries don't necessarily like each other that much, and they have very different histories (a thousand years or two of them actually, another reason why comparing them to states is a mistake) and attitudes. Most people in the United Kingdom don't identify with the term 'British' any further than is necessary to acknowledge it is on our passports. However we do accept that for most of the world it is one thing, and we can sort of deal with it. Thus the other problem, arguably the main problem, is that when American's say 'British', by which they are referring to the United Kingdom and thus all of us, they tend to envisage 'Posh English', which extends past the accent and into behaviours, behaviours which because you can't distinguish between the countries, you associate with all of us. We don't really like this. Mostly because we don't tend to like the posh English. As a side note, you're unlikely to find anyone in Wales or Scotland who identifies as British, even in England it's not absolute. Interestingly somewhere where you are likely to find 'British' folk is in very Loyalist parts of Northern Ireland - but no one ever calls an Irish accent a 'British' one. My point is, seriously, it's not that hard to just say 'English' 'Scottish''Welsh' or 'Irish'. Nor are they hard to differentiate between the countries. It's not like we're asking you to know Newcastle accents from Stockton ones, or Devon from Cornwall (i don't think most of us can anyway). We're not even expecting you to recognise a Glaswegian accent from a plethora or Scottish options (this is quite easy, no one speaks quite like a Weegie).

Edit, posted this by mistake. Sorry.

Okay, #136. Thank you for your elaboration. You've really put things into a new perspective for me. But, I would like to ask, what is an American accent to you? I'd assume, likely, one of the many from the United States. What would you call the accent of someone [[ Mexico?..Mexican? Perhaps spanish? Why would it be so offensive to say American? Technically, North-American, but yes. Aren't Brazilians from the Americas?..Canadians do speak english; how different is it between our accents in another language? - Just reflecting, because I doubt it's culturally common to identify citizens of other countries in America as Americans. Which leads to my point. Most Americans will identify the English accent as Brithish... & Irish as Irish....

What a wanker..

So why does it matter? It seems trivial to me.

Because OP just has to be one of those annoying know-it-alls

I agree #57. The OP seems to be one annoying know-it-all to be bothered by this.

Though a variety of accents are spoken in GB, they can all be considered British...

The problem is, Britain includes Scotland and Wales, and when someone says "British accent" they are never describing a Scottish or Welsh accent, only ever an English one. This is why the term "British accent" makes absolutely no sense. England =/= Britain.