Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The North South Divide

Cambridge University recently published the results of research into people’s personality traits using the answers from 400,000 people who took part in the BBC's Big Personality Test on-line.  Once again Londoners came out as the least friendly. The most liberal; but least friendly.

But is that really true? I'm from London. I'm friendly. I chat to strangers in shops, I've been known to stop a lady in tights and tell her if she's got a ladder, I've chased after a man whose wallet was hanging out of his rucksack depositing £20 notes. (Not to get more!) I paid a student’s bus fare when he didn't have enough money on his bank card. Admittedly I don't do the cockney bounce all day or sing on the train in the way in to work (unless I am wearing earphones and forget myself).  But I just don't get it why we are seen as miserable.

Maybe it's the accent?  Having said that, most people assume if you are from London you talk with a cockney accent and sound like Dick van Dyke.  These days the London accent and definitely the South London accent where I am from have changed. The younger generation seems to have swapped the "th" sound for a "d" so we have "dis" and "dat" and "ask" has become "arks".  But that may be because of the huge mix of nationalities we have in London now. The language is evolving.

Are we really the least friendly? Isn't it just a stereotype?  The same as when I think of Yorkshire I think of phrases such as "eeh bah gum" or the Midlands "Alroight bap". 

 I'm not sure anywhere has the social community it used to have. When I grew up, it was in a block of 42 flats and I could have told you the name of every single person in each flat. Now where I live, I can name the neighbours two or three doors down either side and are on "hello" nodding terms with the people opposite but that's it. Times have changed.

Are there any misconceptions about where you live and where you have come from? 

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