Prejudice alive and well in the spoken word

I’ve always been a big talker, even though people haven’t always understood what I was saying. As a child, I had a lisp, and my ”Rs” came out more like ”Ws”, but these standard-issue elocutionary stumbles were dwarfed by a drawl that made me sound like a drunken Scotsman with a handful of marbles in his mouth. This was generally explained with reference to the fact that I spent a lot of time with our neighbours, a family of Glaswegians, and had presumably picked up their thick Gorbals accent. Whether this was true or not, I embraced the explanation, and soon took to telling other kids that I was Scottish, as a way of staving off embarrassment when they asked me why I spoke strangely. Continue reading