The term "received" in Received Pronunciation indicates that this way of speaking was received or accepted as the standard by a certain segment of society. Over time, the term has come to refer to a specific accent and set of pronunciation rules that are associated with this standard.
It's worth noting that the term Received Pronunciation is not a neutral one, and there is an ongoing debate about whether it represents a useful concept or a value judgment about the superiority of a particular way of speaking English.
Here are some common misconceptions about Received Pronunciation:
RP is the only correct way to speak English: RP is just one variety of English, and there is no one "correct" way to speak the language. There are many different accents and pronunciations that are considered standard and acceptable, depending on the context and the speaker's region or background.
- RP is not exclusively associated with the British royal family: While the British royal family may use RP, it is not only their accent. RP is also used by many famous actors such as Eddy Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, and Daniel Craig, regardless of their educational background. RP is still used by a relatively small segment of the British population, but its association with cultural and artistic celebrities has helped to maintain its prominence.
RP is an outdated and elitist accent: While RP has historically been associated with the upper classes and the cultural elite in Britain, it is not necessarily an outdated or elitist accent. It is still used by people today, and it can be seen as a useful tool for clear and effective communication in certain professional or formal contexts.
- RP is often associated with the BBC: Although not everyone at the BBC speaks RP, it is still the most commonly used accent among its broadcasters and presenters. The BBC has a long history of promoting the use of RP, and it is still seen by many as a hallmark of clear and impartial broadcasting. While the BBC has evolved to reflect the diversity of accents and dialects in the UK, RP continues to be an important part of the organization's cultural identity.
In conclusion, Received Pronunciation (RP) is often misunderstood and misperceived. Despite being associated with the British royal family and cultural and artistic celebrities, RP is not exclusively used by them. However, it is still considered by many as a standard form of English pronunciation and is often referred to as "neutral English." While some people may be hesitant to use the term "Received Pronunciation" due to its perceived association with elitism, it is important to understand that RP should be seen as a tool for clear and effective communication. It should not be viewed as a value judgment about the superiority of a particular way of speaking English. By understanding and appreciating the diversity of accents and pronunciations in the English language, we can help to promote greater respect and inclusiveness.