Irish News

Saturday 12 July 2014

'D4 dort accent will disappear after economic crisis', says language expert

Caitlin McBride

Published 11/10/2013|09:20

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Ivor from the TV show, Damo and Ivor
Ivor from the TV show, Damo and Ivor

A leading expert on language, diction and vocabulary believes that the 'affected D4' accent, referring to the distinct pronunciation of people on the 'DART line' will soon disappear.

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But. what would Ross O'Carroll Kelly think?

Lexicographer Terence Dolan, who has compiled the third Hiberno-English dictionary. said that he believes the accent will become outdated due to its associated with wealth, and subsequently the Celtic Tiger era - whose roar is little more than a meow these days.

"This absurdly affected speech will probably disappear in the aftermath of the financial turmoil," he explained on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One.

"The D4 accent is connected with wealth, so if you're rich enough, you can pretend to be really rich through your accent.

"It's a different line of questioning. How good you are to society, or posh, etc."

He explained that the accent, made famous by the Ross O'Carroll Kelly book series, is "affected" and not a natural speech pattern.

"Because it's affected speech," he responded when asked about the possibility of some individuals simply 'speaking that way'.

"It's people like that who actually put on 'o' vowels [and thus change the pronunciation of a word]."

Mr Dolan also discussed colloquial phrases like 'Dubes', saying that it is a "commercial word for shoes. Dubarry shoes are very famous for the young to use. It's like the D4 accents, it's a sign of style. The style of success, the style of being with it."

As he prepares for the release of the third dictionary, Mr Dolan explained that in order to compile the most accurate and up-to-date vocabulary listing, he eavesdrops on other conversations and appeals to the public for popularly used colloquialisms.

"I have people writing from all over the country, especially women," he said.

"Women are much better at men at this sort of thing, they're much more sensitive to the way people speak."

 

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