Yeah I Mean Look You Know
I heard and watched a person say these words on the BBC. She had been invited to explain that, in this country, according to her view, people who do not speak received Southern English are perceived as less intellectually able. Her view was, is, that there should be no prejudice against people on the grounds of their accent or dialect.
Yeah I Mean Look You Know ...
... is how she started her attempt to convince her hearers. I jotted it down instantly so avoid any risk of the-old-man-has-a-faulty-memory syndrome.
I have no prejudice against people who pronounce, or fail to pronounce, their R. Or against people who articulate some vowels differently. I positively love the way English is pronounced by Jamaicans ... or by South Asians. Or Texans.
Boss Hog was one of my heroes.
I can also tolerate English-speakers who teach themselves to employ the glottal stop, although I feel disappointed that people who live in Scotland or Northumberland so often nowadays feel compelled to adopt a distinctive linguistic habit common to those who live near the Estuary of the Thames. My feeling is that they would be easier on the ear if they simply spoke the inherited English of their regional ancestors. But if they must insist ...
The six words with which that woman began her expression of her views ... do they have an 'official' philological describer? If not, would 'starters' do?
Because it seems to me that all of these words are ... analysed functionally ... instruments to enable a speaker to start speaking. They mean "I am about to utter, so, Little People, start listening". It used to irritate me that our Mr Blair so often began with "Look". Who exactly, Mr Blair, do you think you are to command me to "look"? And I have a prejudice against "Y'Know". If I already "know" X, frankly, I do not need you to tell me that I already "know X". Perhaps I do not know X, and strongly disagree with X. In that case, who on Earth do you think you are to inform me that I "know" X?
But perhaps I am overly aggressive and insistent. Perhaps there are people who need to declaim these formulae before they feel they have sufficiently worked up the courage to Utter.
Yeah I Mean Look You Know.
But do I really have to listen to people who dredge up together every such 'starter' that anybody else ever uses, and chant them all in rapid succession and in my direction?
Couldn't all these public pontificators, these plus-quam-generous communicators, decide which Personal Starter they, each of them, wish personally to adopt ... and then just stick with that one?