Well-qualified young people are failing to get jobs because they leave school unable to speak articulately, according Ofsted's head.
Christine Gilbert, chief inspector, agreed with the findings of a study this week that teenagers rely on a limited vocabulary.
Giving evidence to the Commons education committee, Ms Gilbert said: "I have seen well-qualified young people not able to get jobs because they are not sufficiently articulate in interviews."
Her comments follow a report by Professor Tony McEnery, a linguistics specialist from Lancaster university, who said young people were increasingly conforming to the stereotype of Vicky Pollard - a character in Little Britain.
He analysed 10 million words of transcribed speech, 100,000 words from teenagers' blogs and research among 200 youngsters for his study, conducted for Tesco.