Tag Archives: dialects in TV

Piers Morgan’s “Hoity Toity” Accent

Politicians have a curious habit of mocking their own markers of privilege. How else does one explain Mitt Romney slamming Obama for attending Harvard, Romney’s MBA alma mater? Or G.W. Bush describing the “intellectual arrogance” he encountered while at Yale? … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

The Spread of a Slur

Jane Eyre complains of being “fagged” in Charlotte Bronte‘s masterpiece; a small road in northern England is named “Faggy Lane;” and who can forget Alfred Gurney’s heartwarming 1884 poetry collection, A Christmas Faggot? The preceding paragraph makes me cringe, no … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Chelsea-Speak

While doing some channel surfing the other day, I stumbled upon the reality show Made in Chelsea. I’d describe the program to Americans as akin to The Hills or Laguna Beach (although I don’t recall Lauren Conrad cracking jokes about “phonological … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Joey Barton and “French-English Accents”

By now, I suspect many readers have watched Liverpudlian footballer Joey Barton‘s recent interview about his French debut. I have little to say about his accent, other than to remind everyone that this native Englishman has spent but a few … Continue reading

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

Why This American “Slips Into Britishisms”

An article by Alex Williams in the New York Times discusses the “recent” trend toward Northeastern Americans adopting British slang in everyday conversation. The piece targets the usual suspects: BBC America, Downton Abbey and JK Rowling are the most commonly … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

The Speech of Old L.A.

My grandmother grew up in Los Angeles. Her L.A. was not the L.A. of contemporary stereotype. It was a city with one of the world’s finest rail systems, gracious Victorian homes in forgotten neighborhoods like Bunker Hill, and a bustling … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

-ness: A Darn Productive Morpheme

The English lexicon contains numerous nouns formed by adding the suffix ‘-ness‘ to an adjective: ‘weakness,’ ‘fullness,’ ‘brightness,’ and countless others. And at least in American English, we find creative new uses of ‘-ness’ all the time, which seem to be … Continue reading

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Poor Dick’s Profane Conversion

English-speakers have a unique way of appropriating everyday words to describe sex. From sports to farm animals to botany, we have a vast trove of erotic symbolism at our disposal. One of the stranger of these conversions is that of … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 18 Comments

‘The Jersey Shore’ & Jersey Accents

While in a hotel room the other night, I watched a few episodes of MTV’s The Jersey Shore.  For those living on Mars these past two years, the show follows a group of young ‘Jersey’ layabouts during a raucous summer on the … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 26 Comments

The Accents in Downton Abbey

I am apparently the last person in the English-speaking world to watch Downton Abbey, but got a chance to see the first series over the past two evenings.  For the unfamiliar, the show takes place in an English country estate … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , , , | 100 Comments