Why Can't the English Learn How to Speak?

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"You went to a private school, am I right?" asks voice trainer Dewi Hughes, immediately placing me in the marzipan (almost uppermost) layer of the British social fruit cake. I did, it's true. But, I plead, I'd much rather sound like the other 98% of the country. As a preliminary exercise, he has me read Christina Rossetti's poem Remember. His verdict? "Two vowels betray your background." My clenched and elongated [an error occurred while processing this directive]"oh" and "oo" sounds, he says, are the tip-off that I'm a toff.

So why don't I want to sound privileged? For starters, I'm not....