Monthly Archives: February 2013

NBC Pronunciation Standards

While browsing in a book shop recently, I found a dusty manual titled NBC Handbook of Pronunciation. From the 1940′s through the early 1960′s, NBC published this dictionary of sorts establishing a “standard pronunciation” for newscasters. It is clear from the … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 49 Comments

Thoughts on Language in “Game of Thrones”

I wrote a post eons ago questioning why characters in fantasy films have British accents. HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation was my impetus, yet I confess I haven’t seen the program until recently. Aspects of the show’s language are more complex than I … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged | 31 Comments

The Teesside Controversy

Some British school administrators recently sought to “improve” their students’ Teesside dialect by urging parents to correct their children’ speech. The letter prompted outcry, for reasons well-summarized by Stan Carey of Sentence First. This photo of the note in question has … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged | 36 Comments

“Aristocratic” American, Part 2: Samuel Barber

[This is my second post on the non-rhotic accent once spoken by the Northeastern US Elite. My first post on the subject, about Eleanor Roosevelt's accent, can be found here. West Chester is an town in Eastern Pennsylvania with a beautiful … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Richard III’s “Brummie Accent?”

[Ed. note: An earlier version of this post had an embedded sound clip of Philip Shaw reading a letter by Richard III in a historically accurate accent. Unfortunately, I've had a few embedding issues since updating to the latest version … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Irvine, The Prince, And Military Dialects

Food Network addicts will recognize the inspiration for today’s post, Robert Irvine, the energetic host of Restaurant:Impossible. From the moment I heard Irvine speak, I was more struck by his odd idiolect than his culinary acumen: Irvine is an Englishman … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , | 10 Comments