Letter: That Beryl just don't talk proper

"I BET Johnson spoke clearly," says Beryl Bainbridge (Diary, 7 March). Wrong! Boswell's Life (for the year 1776) tells an anecdote on this very topic. "Johnson himself never got entirely free of those provincial accents. Garrick sometimes used to take him off, squeezing a lemon into a punch bowl, with uncouth gesticulations, looking around the company, and calling out, `Who's for poonsh?' "

Boswell also remarks on "once pronounced woonse" and there "pronounced fear instead of fair".

Sounds like Brummie to me.


Glossop, Derbyshire