Opinion: Why the Kiwi accent is a shocker

OPINION: There is a scene in the film Jaws where worried residents of Amity are at a meeting to discuss how they can stop the shark terrorising their beach.

During the meeting rogue fisherman Quint wants to get everyone's attention, so he runs his fingernails across a blackboard.

The awful screech sound stops everyone in their tracks as they turn around to see the source of the noise.

That sound, of nails being dragged along a blackboard, is what it feels like every time I hear a Kiwi parent refer to their 'kuds'. Or calling a pen a 'pin', or ordering 'chuckun nugguts'. 

And while I am on the subject, it's thank you not 'than-queue'.

Even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Opposition leader Simon Bridges have been mocked recently for their accents. They speak like a Kiwi, like you all do. 

And it's not even the accent. The things Kiwis say often make no sense.

Why, when you ask a question, do you get the answer 'yeah, no'? Which one is it?

Random letters are shoved in to words to extend them turning the 'kids have grown' into the 'kuds have growen'.

Then every statement is turned into a question by the rising inflection at the end of a sentence, which invariably ends in 'ay'.

You are not sure if you have been told something, or if they want an answer.    

Naturally I was amazed to read Travel website Big 7 Media polled more than 1.5 million people from 60 countries across the globe, to find the most attractive accent, and New Zealand came out at the number one spot.

"To a novice ear, the New Zealand accent might sound just like the Australian accent, but Big 7 Travel readers disagree," the site reads.

"The 'Newzild' dialect is outrageously charming. The sexiest accent in the world? It's official."

Have the people they polled ever been here? Have they spoken to a Kiwi?

Are they mistaking Frodo Baggins' accent in Lord of the Rings as a Kiwi accent? Even Gollum sounds better than the average New Zulunder asking for a dozen iggs.

One of the world's other least attractive accents South African came out at number 2, while Italian, widely regarded as a sexy accent, was fourth. French, the language of love, was all the way back in seventh. 

The sweet Southern American accent, one of the finest anywhere, was ninth.

Kiwi is not the worst accent in the world; Welsh wins that award, but it's close. I was brought up in London in the UK where the accents range from the Queen's English to the Cockney 'alwight me old China' - or, as Simon Bridges would say, 'Choina'.

Neither are particularly beautiful, but it requires effort to speak both of them. Not like the lazy Kiwi twang.

There are many, many beautiful things in New Zealand that would top any list in the world, but sadly your accent isn't one of them.

Mark Longley is the English managing editor of Newshub Digital