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Best of British (British accents in the USA).
BBC ^ | Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Posted on 03/21/2007 2:16:26 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu

Success over there: Joss Stone, Sean Connery, Jane Leeves in Frasier, Simon Cowell, Parminder Nagra in ER, Ant and Dec, Emma Thompson and Gordon Ramsay
Many Brits make it in the US - not all keep their accents


By Megan Lane


BBC News Magazine


A cut glass English accent can fool unsuspecting Americans into detecting a "brilliance that isn't there", says Stephen Fry. So is a British accent - of any variety - the route to success in the United States?

"Gee, I just love your accent."

Any Brit crossing the Atlantic will have heard that line many times. Like the rest of us, Americans are rarely immune to the charms of an accent different from their own.

Austin Powers
Go on, say "shagadelic"...

There's the amusement value of listening to someone who sounds like they might just punctuate their sentences with "oh, behave". And a British accent can conjure up a stereotype of a polite, droll, self-effacing race.

But very few Brits are like Hugh Grant (Grant himself has kicked over the traces of his Four Weddings and a Funeral persona), and Stephen Fry speculates that Americans may be dazzled by the British accent.

"I shouldn't be saying this, high treason really, but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren't fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there."

Fry - who puts his own melodious tones down to having "vocal cords made of tweed" - made the suggestion after seeing a "blitz of Brits" scoop many of this year's Golden Globes and Oscars.

Stephen Fry

My vocal cords are made of tweed - I give off an air of Oxford donnishness and old BBC wirelesses


Stephen Fry in his autobiography

His comments come as a new generation of British stars are trying to prove themselves in the US, while staying true to their regional roots (and more are landing plum jobs in US hit shows with accents other than their own).

About to try their luck are Ant and Dec, who will record the pilot of a new ABC game show - not a bad score in a country where they are best known for a brief cameo playing themselves in Love Actually, and as tone-deaf American Idol contestants playing a joke on judge Simon Cowell, currently the US's favourite pantomime limey baddie.

The network hopes they will enjoy more success than previous imports Anne Robinson and Johnny Vaughan - his 2005 game show My Kind of Town was cancelled after four episodes, with entertainment industry paper The Hollywood Reporter describing the Londoner as "heavily accented (and equally heavily annoying)".

America's most wanted

Another Brit currently feted in the US is Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, who gave Rolling Stone a rare interview as himself, rather than in character. The magazine was much taken with his "deep, genteel British accent", which in the UK might be described as educated north London.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste in Without Trace, Joely Richardson in Nip/Tuck and Naveen Andrews in Lost
Brits playing, respectively, two Americans and an Iraqi in hit shows

"For most Americans, there's no distinction between British accents. For us, there's just one sort of British accent, and it's better than any American accent - more educated, more genteel," says Rosina Lippi-Green, a US academic and author of English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the United States.

"It's a way of speaking that is all tied up with the Old Country, the Queen."

This perception extends to any UK accent, she says, divorcing the voice from any regional or class associations it might carry for a fellow Brit.

"There was a sitcom called Dead Like Me with a Brit [Callum Blue] in it. He was a scruffy, 20-something drug dealer. Even he had that sort of patina - his was not an RP accent, it was a working class London accent."

As for Parminder Nagra, plucked from Bend It Like Beckham to star in ER with her soft Midlands accent intact: "Oh, she's thought to be very, very classy, very Oxbridge."

And Simon Cowell, minting it as an American Idol judge? "He's the classic stereotype of a stuck-up Englishman - and stuck-up is something that goes with that perception of Britishness." Little wonder he's found success - the British baddie is a Hollywood staple.

Master and servant

As is the English butler. Henry Pryor, the founder of primemove.co.uk and the Register Of Estate Agents website, worked for Savills International in the late 1980s and early 90s, helping wealthy US buyers purchase flashy dockside apartments, gracious town houses and country piles in the UK.

Hugh Grant - and then girlfriend Liz Hurley - at the Four Weddings premiere
Four Weddings did wonders for British men

"Our accents added a huge amount to what they thought they were buying into. This was the age of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Brideshead Revisited - and Arthur, in which John Gielgud played a butler. They approached having an English broker in the same way as having an English tailor or butler - it was a trophy of sorts."

And with a classic public school accent, Mr Pryor played up his Englishness. "It added cachet - you were buying a piece of English real estate from a guy who spoke just like Hugh Grant, and might look foppishly like him. I suspect it's the flipside of what my mother's generation found during World War II - the English seduced by American accents."

Katharine Jones, author of Accent of Privilege: English Identities and Anglophilia in the US, says the cultured associations have a long history. "British etiquette books have been used for years; and although Americans say they have no class system, they do - and the American upper class apes the British upper class."

Then there is the air of authority such a voice carries, hence the number of ads that use English-accented voiceover artists for products such as insurance and mouth wash.

Good neighbours

Whereas UK expats in Australia tend to lose their accents quite quickly, those in the US are less likely to, Ms Jones says. "They don't have as much incentive to change because of the perceived benefits - leaving a message in a 'posh' accent about a sought-after apartment and the landlady rings you straight back; the ripped-up parking tickets..."

Len Goodman

I get asked if I'm Australian

Dance judge Len Goodman

And the job offers. Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman is currently recording his fourth series of the US version of the BBC show, Dancing with the Stars. He describes his own voice and choice of phrases as Cockney.

"Part of the reason they wanted me was my accent. Along with Bruno Tonioli, who's Italian, it lends the judging panel a cosmopolitan edge."

But he has modified the way he talks. "I do have to speak more slowly, and I play up to it. I might say 'that wasn't my cup of tea' or 'give it a bit of welly'. They love those quirky phrases."

As one who could never be described as sounding like the Queen, Goodman finds that his regional accent often confuses listeners. "I get asked if I'm Australian."

So does Liverpudlian Alison Walters, an immigration lawyer in Los Angles. But she enjoys feeling unique, and says that people are more friendly, and treat her with respect. "You do get preferential treatment and more of people's time, but I do think that is also down to our manners - saying please and thank you."

From time to time I was complimented on how quick I was to pick up the language

Henry Pryor on his expat days

Then there's the perception that a British accent equals a brain the size of a planet - a perception reinforced by the not-uncommon belief that for the British, English is a second language. "From time to time I was complimented on how quick I was to pick up the language," says Mr Pryor.

Ms Walters adds that as the average American has a hard time following what she's saying, "perhaps the perception of being more intelligent comes from the fact they only understand 50% of what you are uttering".

With planeloads of Brits relocating to the US - not to mention three million tourists who visit the country every year - the stereotype of floppy fringes and plummy vowels must surely be due an overhaul.


Add your comments on this story, using the form below.

I attended Harvard Business School in Boston, where a large part of the grade is awarded on spoken contributions to the classroom. Brits generally did better there than other nationalities. I have no doubt that a large part of this was just the natural brilliance of the British. However, if I'm honest, Americans' perception that the accent was indicative of brain-the-size-of-planet intelligence was also a factor. I'm afraid that dear old Mr Fry has given away the game away.
Sam, London

"May I have 12 slices of salami, please?"
"I love your accent. You're English, right?".
"No, I'm Welsh."
"French?"
"No, Welsh. I'm from Wales."
"Oh, whales [with a very strong 'h']. That's part of England, right?"
"No, it's..." At this point I feel tempted to give a made-up explanation of what and where my homeland is. Somewhere off Greenland, perhaps? Reminding myself that I am an ambassador for my country I give an all-too practiced explanation. Blank faces. My accent, rather than being a benefit, is an almost constant reminder that my country, of which I am justly proud, is an unknown entity to at least 99% of the people I speak to. Frankly, I find it all a bit disheartening. I console myself with the notion that the American education system is lacking in the geography department and move on. "May I have 5lbs of potatoes, please?" "I love your accent. You're English, right?"
Paul Beckerton, Georgetown, Kentucky, US

Who wouldn't prefer a British accent to an American one? It just sounds better, no matter what the UK region or class it comes from. American accents are so much hard-edged and more nasal. It seems to me that most American accents make you seem like either a thug or a junior high school drop-out. I am an American but definitely acknowledge this.
Sanford Santacroce, NYC, US

I work in Strategic Planning at a major advertising agency in New York. Having been born and bred in India, I have what I would call a "leftover English" Indian accent. In this politically correct country, it's both funny and sad to see how people who have only spoken to me on the phone, react when they see me in person. I've also been told that I can get away with a lot of outrageous stuff because of my accent. About that, I'm not complaining.
RP Kumar, New York

Being Northern Irish, I find people, whether it be in the US or in England bemused by my accent. It's not just Americans who lack a good sense of world geography, English people are similarly shocking when it comes to the geography of the UK. Like the guy who said that when asked, he says London rather than Shropshire, I find it easier to say Belfast, rather than the country or the town. I've found myself dumbing down my accent and changed the idiomatic phrases that I use in order to stand out less and be patronised and laughed at, with the inverse of that being when I go home to NI having an anglicised twang on my accent.
Philip Kee, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

I grew up bilingually, speaking with an English (generic southern) accent at home with my family and the US accent I learned at school. Neither one is perfectly sound, each having a twang that sets it apart from a native speaker and my vocabulary, slang and spelling are more American. The change between the two happens subconsciously based on who I'm around. American friends get a bit nervous the first time they hear me talk to relatives, they think I've got a split personality. It can be quite convenient though to put one or the other on in certain situations. Any other English-born kids who grew up in the US have a similar situation? I've lived there since I was seven, about 15 years; my parents' haven't changed at all, but my younger brother's is far more American-slanted than mine.
Jacob, Virginia

I have two accents, my native Scouse and a straight English accent I use when trying to communicate with people who are unfortunate enough not to come from Liverpool. A few years back I was working in Tennessee as an ICT consultant. I generally used my straight English accent which I found attracted a great deal of attention from the fairer sex. On one occasion while sitting talking to a fellow Liverpudlian at a booth in a bar in Nashville, two very pretty young ladies came up to us and asked if we spoke English to which I replied "better than most". They were totally gobsmacked and sat next to us and one said "wow you speak real good English... but what was that other language you where just talking?" For the first time since arriving in the US, we were speechless!
John Murphy, Liverpool

"Yes - I'm the Queen's cousin."

Works every time with my accent.
Joe, RP London, England

As an expat living in Canada I'm always getting told how nice my accent is. But when people try to imitate it, it always comes out sounding like Del Boy...
Callum, Quebec, Canada

After 25 years here my accent has yet to successfully talk me out of a traffic ticket - but maybe I shouldn't be addressing the men in blue as "constable"?
John Kelly, New York City

I recently started as a consultant at a bank in New York and have since learnt from my co-workers that my CV was put on the top of the pile because I was British. Rolling out the British tones at interview was a formality.
Alex Preston, New York, US (originally Oxford, England)

I'm reading these comments with glee: as a Scot about to move to the US with my American girlfriend I shall expect 5-star treatment and favours everywhere I go.
Chris Evans, Glasgow

Sorry but I am NOT a fan of the "British" accent in any way. Sure, some of my countrymen who haven't travelled outside the US are easily impressed with a bit of cockney, but it doesn't do anything for me at all, except to have me wondering just whom this affectation of erudition and breeding is supposed to impress. I don't buy it - nor does anyone else I know. And yes, I'm an educated, well travelled person.
Johnny Wells, Santa Paula CA US

On my first visit to America I tried to cash a cheque (check!) at a bank in Chicago. The bank teller said "Excuse me?" three times, making me repeat my request. In the end she smiled disarmingly (Americans are good at that) and admitted "I heard you the first time. I just wanted to hear your accent again!" But it can be a two-edged sword as the BBC article points out. Sometimes Americans interpret the British accent as snobbish and aloof and unfriendly (British people cannot talk and smile at the same time like Americans). So it can lead to misunderstandings. But in truth it really is an advantage being British over here (even with a Yorkshire accent like mine). Of course, it is an advantage that evaporates the minute you set foot on British soil.
Pip, Michigan, US

There are some here in America who can discern the lilt of Londoners' accents from the cut of a Manchester accent, for example. But not many. The same can be true for Americans' accents abroad. How many Brits can tell the difference between a bloke from Kentucky and a chap from Montana by accent alone? Not many, I would assume.
Ryan, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

I spent 11 years in California and lowly, I had to modify (Americanise) the way I spoke so that people would listen to what I was saying and not how I was saying it. I, also, had to employ local idioms otherwise entire rooms full of people would burst out in adoring, but patronising, laughter. Eventually, my accent changed and I constantly got accused of being an Aussie. I came back to England in 2002 and found myself stuck with a twang that I'm only just now losing. But, I'll never forget the blank looks I used to get when I was asked the inevitable question, "Where are you from in England?" I soon learned that the only answer really was "London" because "Shropshire" simply didn't register.
Jon Bailey, Shrewsbury, UK

I've been living and working in the States for four years. People constantly comment on my accent and the company I work for like to have me answer their phones because they think my voice sounds professional. I have been asked a few times where I learned to speak English so well before I moved to the States though, despite me saying I am from England.
Sarah, Louisville, Kentucky, US

I work here as a truck driver and always get strange reactions to my Scots accent. Sometimes it opens doors, sometimes slams them hard on my face. I often have to repeat myself as people listen to how I say things, not to what I'm actually saying.
Gary, Morristown, Tennessee, US

Married to an expat Brit, I can tell you he gets preferential treatment at a lot of places, especially during interviews for work. It's gotten to the point where I've thought about affecting a British accent myself (which I can impersonate quite well after ten years of marriage)just so I can get a cushy job as well. Of course on the flipside, he often gets frustrated when the employees a the local McDonalds don't understand a word he says and they get his order all wrong and my order is happily correct...
Ainy, Baltimore, US

Oh how true! and how unfair! My British wife still bowls over the gullible Americans at every turn with her cute Scots-Irish accent. Free coffees, better tables in restaurants, better service, and on and on ad nausea. Our recent four years living in York got me no such treatment in kind with my cute and quiet American accent. Oh well, time to just give up and cheerfully hang on her coattails for the perquisites.
Christopher Kovach, New Albany, Ohio, US

A friend of mine went on holiday to Florida.
In the first week he was complimented : "You speak really good American."
In the second week, he was asked which part of France he was from.
He's from Leeds.
Mark Jones, Plymouth, Devon

Name



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: accent; accents; britain; british; britons; clipped; clippedaccent; dialect; received; rp; uk; unitedkingdom
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1 posted on 03/21/2007 2:16:31 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu
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To: All

Accidentally included some comments there--that was unintended.


2 posted on 03/21/2007 2:17:23 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
Not a fan of the southern English accent. The Geordies have a pleasent one, however.

In our own country, I've always thought that folks in much of Kentucky have a pleasent way of speaking, as well as folks from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The standard Mid-Atlantic (Jersey to Baltimore) accent is a little too nasal for my tastes, and has a tendency to corrupt multisyllabic words ("Nork" for Newark, "Bawlmer" for Baltimore, etc.). Seattlites talk like Canadians western Canadians.

I have a slightly nasal downstate New York accent. Not as heavy as Donald Trump, but still noticeable. I say "draw" for drawer and say FAR-est for Forest.

3 posted on 03/21/2007 2:22:52 PM PDT by Clemenza (NO to Rudy in 2008! New York's Values are NOT America's Values!)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak.


4 posted on 03/21/2007 2:23:27 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

My vote is for British born actress Jane Seymour.


5 posted on 03/21/2007 2:26:55 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Interesting .... I find that if you travel to England and put on a slight southern drawl and slow down a bit, act like a gentleman and carry an air of male confidence, the British girls are falling all around you feet.


6 posted on 03/21/2007 2:27:52 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu


7 posted on 03/21/2007 2:29:01 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: SpaceBar

I can't say I buy the idea that Americans find all British accents appealing. An upperclass-RP accent is fine, but lower class British accents aren't exactly easy on the ear - and I'd bet most Americans find them incomprehensible.

Americans show excellent taste in not falling for Stephen Fry, though. Here's hoping his fame remains confined to the other side of the Atlantic.


8 posted on 03/21/2007 2:30:32 PM PDT by nyc1
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

I'm counting down until that famous Brit-hater "quidnunc" shows up.


9 posted on 03/21/2007 2:37:17 PM PDT by stinkerpot65
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

British crooks make good con men in the US. Americans tend to instantly believe someone speaking in a British accent.


10 posted on 03/21/2007 2:39:35 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

American girls love posh British accents. Of course, Americans still do well over in Europe.


11 posted on 03/21/2007 2:41:15 PM PDT by Barney Gumble (A liberal is someone too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel - Robert Frost)
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To: The KG9 Kid

You do realize that there is a very fine line between British and gay?


12 posted on 03/21/2007 2:44:05 PM PDT by CholeraJoe (Hajjis HATE the waterboard! It can turn a clam into a canary so fast Harry Potter would be jealous.)
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To: CholeraJoe
You do realize that there is a very fine line between British and gay?

And many of them have erased that line.

(with apologies to Oscar Levant)

13 posted on 03/21/2007 2:55:04 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: Clemenza
"The standard Mid-Atlantic (Jersey to Baltimore) accent is a little too nasal for my tastes..."

I grew up with a very strong Western PA/Pittsburgh accent...When I went to college in Gettysburg, on the eastern side of the Alleghenies, a number of people thought I was an exchange student and asked what country I was from...

14 posted on 03/21/2007 3:01:34 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack
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To: Borges

"Her English is too good, he said, that proves that she is foreign. Whereas foreigners are taught proper speech, English children aren't."


15 posted on 03/21/2007 3:03:53 PM PDT by R.W.Ratikal
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
Living here in accent-less Ohio I have to say I like British accents, Southern accents, and Australian accents, and on women, pretty much any accent.
16 posted on 03/21/2007 3:04:08 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps (Past the schoolhouse / Take it slow / Let the little / Shavers grow / BURMA-SHAVE)
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To: The KG9 Kid; Genghis Khan

Few things as sexy as an Indian girl with a posh accent.


17 posted on 03/21/2007 3:07:45 PM PDT by Clemenza (NO to Rudy in 2008! New York's Values are NOT America's Values!)
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To: Clemenza
"Few things as sexy as an Indian girl with a posh accent."

Frankly, I like a woman who knows how to keep it zipped.

(ducking!)

18 posted on 03/21/2007 3:09:14 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack
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To: Joe 6-pack

I bet dollars to donuts that yunz were misunderstood and dat...Go Stillers! ;-)


19 posted on 03/21/2007 3:09:32 PM PDT by Clemenza (NO to Rudy in 2008! New York's Values are NOT America's Values!)
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To: Clemenza

I still define "Saaerday" as the day of the week before the Stiller game.


20 posted on 03/21/2007 3:10:56 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Best British accents of all varieties:

Jeremy Irons
John Gielgud
Michael Caine
John Cleese
Joan Plowright
David Frost
Jennifer and Clarissa (Two Fat Ladies)


21 posted on 03/21/2007 3:11:59 PM PDT by Cecily
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

I was stationed with a girl from Manchester and hers was the nicest English accent I ever heard. Although I do enjoy hearing all of them.


22 posted on 03/21/2007 3:13:27 PM PDT by rabidralph
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
"For most Americans, there's no distinction between British accents. For us, there's just one sort of British accent, and it's better than any American accent - more educated, more genteel," says Rosina Lippi-Green, a US academic and author of English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the United States.

Rosina has obviously never been to Dudley >>>>shudder<

23 posted on 03/21/2007 3:14:47 PM PDT by alnitak ("That kid's about as sharp as a pound of wet liver" - Foghorn Leghorn)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
"I shouldn't be saying this, high treason really, but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren't fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there."

Could very well be.

As further anecdotal evidence, I suggest that the same is not true when most people hear a Cockney accent.
Sort of the perceived difference between a Boston Brahmin accent and a Tennessee accent.

24 posted on 03/21/2007 3:14:57 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Don't question faith. Don't answer lies.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

I dunno - it strikes me that there's something about that accent that drives people to do evil - at least in every Hollywood movie I've ever seen. Except for Ghengis Khan when John Wayne played him. "Da wench has a fahry spirit..."


25 posted on 03/21/2007 3:15:52 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: stinkerpot65; quidnunc
The UK is an American ally, and Britons definitely shouldn't be insulted on account of their accent, but since you mentioned another freeper in a ping, netiquette dictates that the guy be pinged.

"It's a way of speaking that is all tied up with the Old Country, the Queen."
This is rather disgusting--this country fought a war to sever familial ties with the UK. Read the Declaration of Independence (or especially the first draft).

Now pushing that aside, personally find a lot of British accents natty (if natty can be used for accents), except for pronouncing it is/it isn't as it tis and it tisn't. It does seem to have an air of formality about it. However, it is as ludicrous that those with British accents should automatically be considered intelligent and refined as it is for those with Appalachian accents to be considered uncultured idiots.

There can be unintelligent, boorish Britons and cultured and smart Appalachians--and of course the other way around. Opinions about the behavior of a man shouldn't be determined by his accent (which isn't the same as his diction).

26 posted on 03/21/2007 3:17:49 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

P.S. Wouldn't be that much against it if the media changed from "standard" American (media-American English) to an American "Received Pronunciation." But keep the proper (American) spelling and words such as truck, wrench (the tool), elevator, etc.


27 posted on 03/21/2007 3:23:47 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Before waxing too lyrical about British accents go to London, ride around on the busses and Underground and listen to the chavs talking among themselves.


28 posted on 03/21/2007 3:27:51 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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Someone I was surprised to find out was British...

Didn't find out until the Emmys, when he gave an acceptance speech.

29 posted on 03/21/2007 3:30:17 PM PDT by The Coopster
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To: The Coopster
He looks as though he is the twin of the guy on MAD TV.

Unless he stars on both House and MAD TV

30 posted on 03/21/2007 3:32:55 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Thanks for the post. I liked the comments to the article...one thing I've learned is not to ask "Are you Australian?" because some Brits are truly mortified by that. Ask "Where are you from?"
Tally-ho!


31 posted on 03/21/2007 3:35:25 PM PDT by cloud8
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To: Borges

'Why can't the English teach their children how to speak.'

Why can't the Americans teach their children how to spell.

;-)


32 posted on 03/21/2007 3:37:37 PM PDT by britemp
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
About to try their luck are Ant and Dec, who will record the pilot of a new ABC game show

NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Not Ant and Dec. Don't they have a jungle somewhere they're needed? I'm sorry if you like them Jedi, but Jade Goody wears on my nerves less than those two (and I'm no fan of Jade). Bring over HIGNFY instead. Or better yet QI (Alan Davies included).

As for the accents, I can't tell what part of the country where someone is from all the time but the accents are like night and day. It's like a yankee comes down to the South. You immediately know they aren't from 'these parts'.

33 posted on 03/21/2007 3:42:24 PM PDT by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

'But keep the proper (American) spelling and words such as truck, wrench (the tool), elevator, etc.'

LOL! That's the funniest post I've read in ages!
Guess what? Us English types spell truck, wrench and elevator exactly the same way you do! :D


34 posted on 03/21/2007 3:43:33 PM PDT by britemp
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To: Cecily

I'd add Jane Leeves to that list.


35 posted on 03/21/2007 3:45:36 PM PDT by lesser_satan (EKTHELTHIOR!!!)
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To: quidnunc

'Before waxing too lyrical about British accents go to London, ride around on the busses and Underground and listen to the chavs talking among themselves.'

You don't have to go that far - most of our chavs are on holiday in Florida due to each one of their dole pounds being worth two dollars! :)


36 posted on 03/21/2007 3:46:34 PM PDT by britemp
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To: britemp
You do? It isn't lorry, spanner, and lift (respectively for their American counterparts: truck, wrench, and elevator)?

This is new, personally.

37 posted on 03/21/2007 3:47:24 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
For most Americans, there's no distinction between British accents.

Oh yes there is. I can spot a Cockney accent right away and it definitely sounds low class.

38 posted on 03/21/2007 3:52:17 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: britemp
due to each one of their dole pounds being worth two dollars!

I'd find that funny except I remember the last time I paid $9 for a Big Mac meal. For us it's the exact opposite. And in its own way that's too bad. I would love to visit more on vacation but the walking around money for the day adds up.

39 posted on 03/21/2007 3:53:12 PM PDT by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

No, we use both. Truck is in very common everyday use meaning a large goods vehicle and is completely interchangeable with lorry. We use spanner and wrench - the smaller types used for undoing nuts are usually called spanners and the bigger ones for undoing pipes and the like usually wrenches. Ditto elevator - perfectly swappable with lift in everyday conversation.

With the greatest respect to Americans, I think Brits are more aware of the spelling and meaning nuances of foreign subversions of the English language like American English than Americans are aware of English, or as Americans tautologically call it, British English. English is a wonderful language which is constantly changing and developing and all versions are vaild, but of course English is the original and American English a regional subversion.


40 posted on 03/21/2007 3:58:14 PM PDT by britemp
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To: britemp

Appreciated.


41 posted on 03/21/2007 3:59:10 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: britemp
Why can't the Americans teach their children how to spell.

And geography
And another language
And math

42 posted on 03/21/2007 3:59:56 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (If you're not being shot at, it's not a high stress job.)
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To: billbears

'I'd find that funny except I remember the last time I paid $9 for a Big Mac meal. For us it's the exact opposite.'

Yep - beneficial currency conversions only work the one way and swapping the weaker dollar for the stronger pound does make it expensive to visit the UK if you get paid in dollars. On the other hand it means our chavs can afford the US easily so it gets them out from under our feet! :D


43 posted on 03/21/2007 4:02:41 PM PDT by britemp
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To: taxcontrol

A buddy of mine in the Army spent a little time in England. He was a master at imitating the English accent, and looked the part, so he would amuse himself by trying to pass as a Native, particularly with the Female of the species. He explained spending hours throwing darts over a pint, and at an opportune time, explain that he's not really British.

"You mean... you mean you're not really Niles from Lancashire???"


44 posted on 03/21/2007 4:04:12 PM PDT by Freedom4US (u)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

'Appreciated.'

My pleasure. I visit the US frequently on business and well anunciated use of our common language does appeal to many Americans I meet, particularly the ladies!

Similarly, many Brits find certain American accents very appealing, particularly those of the southern states. I myself find the accent around South Carolina and Georgia very pleasant.


45 posted on 03/21/2007 4:08:42 PM PDT by britemp
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To: britemp
On the other hand it means our chavs can afford the US easily so it gets them out from under our feet! :D

Gee thanks :) Next you'll be asking us to take your politicians...

46 posted on 03/21/2007 4:10:10 PM PDT by billbears (Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --Santayana)
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To: lesser_satan

Also:

Winston Churchill
David Niven
Richard Burton
Roddy McDowell
Alfred Hitchcock


47 posted on 03/21/2007 4:10:16 PM PDT by Cecily
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To: billbears

The Brits took the obnoxious Gwyneth and Madonna off our hands, so we owe them some favors.


48 posted on 03/21/2007 4:13:09 PM PDT by Cecily
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
British people cannot talk and smile at the same time like Americans

LOL! I love it!

49 posted on 03/21/2007 4:13:24 PM PDT by Churchillspirit (We are all foot soldiers in this War On Terror.)
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To: Freedom4US

'"You mean... you mean you're not really Niles from Lancashire???"'

Now your friend did do well mastering a Lancashire accent; one of the more subtle and less obvious of the northern accents.

"If tha duz owt fer nowt, do it fer thysen"

Translation - "If want something doing for free, you might as well do it yourself!" :)


50 posted on 03/21/2007 4:14:03 PM PDT by britemp
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