JOHN MORRISH mentions that 1.5 billion speak English worldwide, with the "best" English spoken in Calcutta ("The accent that dare not speak its name", 21 March). They learn this from the World Service of the BBC and from local sources such as the British Council. A strong regional accent is often not understood. During a career working abroad, I have often had to interpret into Received Pronounciation for a local audience the words of a British visitor. One exasperated Dutchman said: "Please speak Continental English not English English" in a perfect RP voice.


Shrewsbury, Shropshire