Tag Archives: dialects in TV

“Fargo” Redux: Dialect Work in TV’s Renaissance

When Fargo was released in 1996, “Minnesota speech” was largely unknown to the majority of the American populace. With a handful of exceptions, the dialect had little representation in popular culture. The film’s appeal lies not only in the quality of … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

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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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , | 12 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 , , , | 14 Comments

Brits “Get Away With It”

I’ve recently been watching Two Fat Ladies, a late-90s cooking show in which two rambunctious women travel the British countryside cooking regional food. One of the program’s perverse joys is its hosts’ sometimes shocking commentary. Take, for instance, Clarissa Dickson Wright‘s opinion … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 20 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 , , , , , | 19 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

The Death of Drama School Accent Enforcement

Although I enjoy the series Downton Abbey, I know little about the personal lives of its cast members. So the other day, after watching a program on PBS, I was startled by a promo interview with the actress who plays … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

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

That’s What She Said!

I’m going to veer off-topic today, and discuss jokes. Or rather, a joke that has swept through American pop culture for years, the allusive “that’s what she said” gag. The premise is that by inserting “that’s what she said” after … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 13 Comments