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Received Pronunciation
noun (abbreviation RP) the particular form of spoken British English (essentially an educated Southern English pronunciation) which is regarded by many as being the least regionally limited, the most socially acceptable and the most -standard-. See also Standard English.

Received Pronunciation Of all the accents of English, Received Pronunciation or RP has come to be regarded as having most prestige, with its associations of respectable social standing and good education. Although it can be found anywhere in the English-speaking community, RP is often associated with the south-east of England. This is where it developed in the late Middle Ages; it was (and perhaps still is) London that attracted most people seeking social advancement, and they adopted the accent they found there. With the flourishing of Public Schools and the British Empire in the nineteenth century, RP rapidly became the accent of authority and power, and its pre-eminence was consolidated when it was adopted by the BBC at the birth of radio broadcasting in the 1920s. Still the most widely used accent today in the legal profession, in Parliament, and in other national institutions, as well as being the model for the teaching of English as a foreign language, RP is, in educated society generally, nevertheless losing some of its ground to regionally modified speech, perhaps because of RP's traditional association with conservative values. Although regional accents are still stigmatized in some quarters (a few BBC announcers with regionally modified accents still receive hate mail), increasing interest in and acceptance of all accents of the English-speaking community are surely to be welcomed.



Received Standard English or Received English
noun the form of English generally spoken by educated British people and regarded as the standard of the language.


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