This comment from a poster really made me think. I thought it was worth re-producing because the dialogue seems to have borne fruit. It made me think, I struggled to express myself in my explanation but seem to have got my point across in a way that elicited a courteous and generous reply. Everybody wins.
“I know this isn’t the main point of your post, but this “I still have RP and don’t sound like a Gypsy…. “ stood out. I wouldn’t have thought that RP was still necessary on the telephone. Do you need to sound a particular way? What does a Gypsy sound like anyway??”
“I don’t say that RP is necessary, but in our particular case, it helps our confidence. (I’m not presuming to talk for all Gypsies, just my own life.) We face a lot of competition in a country in the depth of an economic depression and we have hung on by our fingernails. Everything that can help our confidence and instil confidence in our potential customers, is a tool to be used. I don’t know if you know any Gypsies, but many do have a particular way of talking that, to us, is instantly recognisable. It comes down to idiolect, where the phrasing and cadence are as important as the jargon used. Having been called a ‘Dirty Gypsy’ all his life; my husband feels the need to hide his origins in front of customers. Truthfully, I would say that 95% of potential customers would back away if they thought they were dealing with a Gypsy, so we like to stay under the radar. I explain what that’s like in this earlier post. https://agypsieswife.wordpress.com/2013/10/07 Thank you very much for reading my blog. It is lovely to have a voice, and I hope I’ve managed to make things a little clearer.”
“Fair point. Unfortunately, prejudice is alive and kicking against Gypsies. I don’t know if I would recognise a particular speech as specifically Gypsy, I might wonder if it were regional and I would probably wonder where they were from. Perhaps it’s a subconscious reaction. Thanks for your clarifying post, and I think it’s great that the internet has given you a voice – you and many others, I hope!”