Category Archives: Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects

The accents of smaller English-speaking areas such as British South Africa, the Carribean countries, and other places not in the British Isles or North America.

Subtitled For American Consumption

I’ve recently discussed the work of filmmaker Ken Loach with longtime commenter Ed. Loach is one of the few filmmakers I recall who commits to featuring local accents in all his films. He often casts non-actors in his movies, resulting in … Continue reading

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Reformed Views on Spelling Reform

Back in college, I obsessed over English spelling reform. Why deal with silent gh’s, I figured, when things can be so much cleaner? So I started inventing phonetically-precise alphabets, ending up with results like this: Tu bii or not tu … Continue reading

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New Mexican Spanish

Wikipedia has many excellent entries on regional dialects. I’m wary of taking all its information at face value, but the site provides good links to relevant sociolinguistics texts that would be tricky for laypeople to track down otherwise. That being … Continue reading

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Faulkner, Joyce, and Regional Modernism

I most associate literary modernism with Joyce and Faulkner, writers who pushed literature’s boundaries further than they had, and perhaps have since, been pushed. Both explored non-standard grammar and syntax, so it’s no coincidence that they were master “dialect writers.” That … Continue reading

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Stray Thoughts on Theatrical Accent Traditions

Slate ran a recent piece on the history of women playing Peter Pan onstage. This got me thinking about other theatrical or filmic traditions with regards to fictional characters. In particular, should we question why certain characters are played in … Continue reading

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That Tricky “Oh”

Over the holidays, I watched Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, an excellent miniseries about a beautiful but troubled community in New Zealand’s South Island. American actress Elisabeth Moss plays the lead role of a police detective who has returned to … Continue reading

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More on Young New Zealand English

Ubiquitous on the radio recently has been “Royals,” a minimalist anti-consumerist (I think) anthem by 16-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor). She been busy on the American interview circuit, revealing her non-singing, New Zealand-accented voice: Something that struck me about … Continue reading

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It’s Not Just English with the “R” Thing

I talk about “r” a lot here*. Seriously, if you take a look at this site’s analytics, you’ll find that the Google query that brings the most traffic is simply “r.” The consonant is one of the most important ways … Continue reading

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Singapore English (Vs. “Singlish”)

If I could nominate a “dialect of the 21st Century,” I would probably go with Singapore English, a native English dialect spectrum spoken in a region with few competitors (for nearly 1/3 of Singaporeans, English is the primary language spoken at … Continue reading

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Anglicized Spanish (British vs. American)

While watching an old episode of Absolutely Fabulous last night, I was struck by the way a British character pronounced the Spanish wine rioja. In Spanish orthography, the j represents a velar fricative (the guttural consonant in Scottish ‘Loch‘). The character on … Continue reading

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