AA Gill On... Recieved Pronunciation

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Mr Gill,
I've got this boyfriend, and on the face of it he ticks every box, some of them more than once. He's good-looking, solvent with an indoor, sitting-down job. He's got a car that's insured, which is as rare as morris dancers round here. My family love him, and so do I.

It's all lush, until he opens his bleeding mouth. He's got this accent. He sounds posh. Like off Downton Abbey, or some black and white film.

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Normally I can handle it because he's polite and funny. It's just in bed, his voice does me in. You really can't talk dirty and sound sexy with a posh accent. It's like being rogered by a comedy butler or a magistrate. I can't take it seriously. Every time he says, "Here I come ready or not." Or, "Good Lord, brill top bollocks miss." Or, "Steady the bus!" (he says that quite a lot) I go off the whole thing.

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I'm writing to you because I assume you're posh. How do any of you actually breed? How can you get a throb-on for some bird who sounds like Princess Anne saying stuff like, "Do you have a reservation?"

Cher, by instant message

Ah, Tracy. Do you mind if I call you Tracy? I know it's not your name, but you're all Tracys to us. Of course, you're completely right. Received pronunciation, BBC English, or "posh", is good for many things: ordering thousands of oiks to almost certain death; governing an empire with not much more than five drunken Scotsmen, a cricket bat and a voice that's stern calm. It's brilliant for memorial services, patronising foreigners, children and horses and, bizarrely, poetry.

But God in His wisdom gives and takes away. Even though He obviously has the same accent as your boyfriend, He has deemed it the most preposterous voice when naked. When all is said and done, or done then said, it is the accent of understatement. And if engaged in the beast with 20 toes and a single desire, you really don't want understatement, or to sound phlegmatically sophisticated.

No one wants to hear, "Whenever you're ready, old girl" as a soundtrack to the vinegar strokes. My suggestion is to shove a pillow in his mouth. It will remind him of school. Or wear earphones playing Get Carter. Of course, if you're serious about the chap then work up some ruse to get him fired, get one of your mates to nick his car and insist he move in with you.

In a couple of months he'll sound like your bruvas. We are not born with this accent. We achieve it. It's part of our training. Take away the perks and the position and we lose the accent. Anyway, in our heads we all sound just like you.

Out loud we may be saying, "I say! Tally-ho!" In our heads it sounds like, "Eat cock snot, bitch."