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CONTRARY to Douglas Hamilton (Letters, 5 March) I agree with David Roch’s main point in his letter of the day before, which was that Scots in effecting their career ambitions within the UK have often ­conformed to southern accents.

It is well enough known that anyone seeking front-line employment in the British Broadcasting Corporation, for example, would have been very disadvantaged to speak broad Glaswegian or Aberdonian during any interview or audition.

It is, to use the word applied by Mr Hamilton to Mr Roch, “disingenuous” to suggest that accent has been of no account in career success or other social attainment in Britain.

From teachers to British Army officers to most certainly BBC broadcasters, and to practically everybody else – apart from those consigned to “the bottom of the social heap” whose voice currency was there only to be ridiculed on film, in quotation-marked quirkiness in print etc – it was a commonly recognised necessity to “talk proper” or even “posh” (depending on how “high” one wished to ascend the social or ­career ladder).

It was also well-known once upon a time to hear the comment that the best English was spoken in Inverness, and this wasn’t said demeaningly but with approval.

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive

Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

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