Thursday, 31 March 2011

Robert Peston's blitzspeak

In my blog entry of the 27th of March I began to analyse Robert Peston's way of speaking. He is Business Editor for BBC News, and he's won several awards over the last 2.5 decades:
  • 1986 Wincott Young Financial Journalist of the Year
  • 1994 Investigative Journalist of the Year
  • 2005 Wincott Senior Financial Journalist of the Year and London Press Club's Scoop of the Year
  • etc., etc.
He should also be nominated as blitzspeaker and best speech retarder.
In my blog entry mentioned above the sentence I analysed was: "I mean the way I tend to see things is - erm - that on the one hand plainly conditions - uh - economically, financially are a bit better than they were."
Listen to the very next sentence of RP's presentation:

It makes fairly heavy demands on the listener's listening abilities, does it not? Can you sort out this torrent of sounds?


  1. I suppose Kraut is right to suggest that this might be a little daunting in its rapidity and colloquial style to many of his students but I find it perfectly clear. The only perhaps potentially upsetting feature for some English-native-speaking listeners is the omission of one sound /l/ which in less rapid delivery would be normally audible to represent the grammatical item spelt most formally as "will" after the word "sure". I find Peston's delivery often idiosyncratic even to the point of eccentricity but I so enjoy his forthrightness and pungency that I dont find I suffer at all in the way John Maidment seems to've suggested he does earlier in this thread.

  2. I tried to make understanding easier by increasing the volume of the chunk of words following the initial section "but the metaphor". The original sentence is much less loud.