RDP: Posh


 How To Talk Posh

I couldn’t think of the word posh without thinking of the story of Eliza Doolittle who wanted to learn how to talk like a lady.

I’ve seen the classic film “My Fair Lady” with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison more than once and I’ve seen a couple of amateur productions of it on the stage.

For those who don’t know it “My Fair Lady” is based on a play by George Bernard Shaw called “Pygmalion”. The play in turn was based on Greek  mythology, the story of a sculptor who created a beautiful statue of a woman and fell in love with it.

In the film Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, asks Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics to give her lessons on how to speak properly so that she can get a job in a flower shop.  Professor Higgins was not really interested until his friend Colonel Pickering bet him that he couldn’t turn her into a lady who could mix in high society and not be found out.

I have to admit that although I like the film and the story I never cared for the Henry Higgins character. I thought he was snobbish and bad mannered. He may have been qualified to teach Eliza to speak nicely but he certainly did not act like a gentleman.  As I was only a teenager when I first saw the film I also wondered why on earth Eliza would fall in love with such a nasty man. Perhaps it was just Rex Harrison’s portrayal, the last time I saw it as a play the actor playing Professor Higgins, who was just an amateur in a small local repertory company, actually made me feel some sympathy for his character at the end when he realises he misses Eliza.

There are some great scenes though, not only the ones where Eliza is learning to talk posh. The scenes with her father Alfred P Doolittle are fun too. Mrs Higgins, the Professors mother, has a couple of good scenes as well.

Eliza succeeded in learning to speak like a lady and fooled everyone at a grand function . The way we speak can influence what people think of us as much as the way we look.

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

4 thoughts on “RDP: Posh”

  1. I agree that the way we speak – and the language we use – does affect how other people view us. When people use vulgar language or a lot of obscenities, their message gets lost.
    If you haven’t seen the film Pygmalion with Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard, I recommend checking it out. It might be on youtube. As much as I like Audrey Hepburn, I think Hiller’s acting in this film is far superior.

    Liked by 1 person

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