Tag Archives: celebrity accents

John Oliver and Contemporary Brumminess

Like many HBO subscribers, I’ve become a fan of John Oliver, a British comedian who brings journalistic rigor to the “news parody” genre. He particularly excels at trans-Atlantic humor, injecting British wit into American jokes (“you’ve constructed a straw-man so … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Iggy Azalea and Ethnolect Appropriation

A few years back, I was talking to an Irish musician about the American blues. I found it strange that British and Irish musicians, particularly those honing their chops in the 1960s, seemed more taken with the form than Americans. “Well,” the … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

“Courtney Act” and Non-Rhotic Puns

This season of RuPaul’s Drag Race featured Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek), a renowned drag performer from Brisbane, Australia. In an early episode, Act/Jenek laments that Americans don’t get the pun in his stage name, which sounds similar to “caught in … Continue reading

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Posted in Australian English | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

The Van Dyke Controversy

Disney’s 1964 Mary Poppins adaptation has been in the news lately, in light of both film’s 50th anniversary and Saving Mr. Banks, a new film about the contentious relationship between Walt Disney and Anglo-Australian “Poppins” creator P. L. Travers. Of … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Midwestern English is Not “Dictionary Standard”

In a recent column, Marilyn Vos Savant (a columnist with an allegedly record-setting IQ) wrote: I’ve retained 99+ percent of my Midwestern ‘accent,’ which sounds like no accent at all because nearly all the words are pronounced according to dictionary standards. A … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 25 Comments

The Accents of Transplants 2: Adolescents

Recently, the Daily Show‘s fearless Aasif Mandvi made headlines when a satirical interview he conducted with Republican precinct chairman Don Yelton led to the man resigning from his post. I get the sense, from watching the cringe-inducing video of the … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 14 Comments

I Thought He Was Australian!

I’ve recently noticed several comments on my weeks-old Orphan Black post taking issue with my praise of lead actress Tatiana Maslany‘s “Southeast English” accent. Here’s a representative example: I’ve only just watched the first episode and presumed Sarah was meant … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

“Orphan Black’s” House of Dialect Mirrors

I’ve recently been watching Orphan Black, BBC America’s sci-fi mystery about human clones. For reference, here is the guns-sex-and-intrigue-laden preview: The show admittedly has its silly moments, but its lead actor makes up for these. Not only does one woman (Tatiana Maslany) … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

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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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

David Beckham’s “Poshification”

Researchers from  University of Manchester recently announced that David Beckham has “poshed up” his accent since moving the the United States (pun probably intended). Given that Beckham is one of the biggest sports stars in the world, it’s fairly easy … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 19 Comments