Tag Archives: dialects in TV

Language Log on the Accents in “The Wire”

Over at Language Log, Eric Bakovic has an interesting take on accent work in films and television. The first half of the piece discusses accents on the The Wire, one of the most linguistically fascinating series in the history of … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged | 18 Comments

Did We Speak More “Properly” 50 Years Ago?

Like countless others, I’m a fan of Mad Men. One of the things I find fascinating about the show is the choice its creators made about the speech of the characters. The series almost completely eschews regional dialects (it takes … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged | 13 Comments

Why is Fantasy Always in a British Accent?

[Ed. Note:  I’m on vacation till Saturday, July 30th, so I’m publishing some old posts I drafted but never published.  Some of these might be rough around the edges.  Also note that it may be difficult for me to respond … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , | 39 Comments

“Top o’ the Morning:” Myth and Reality

Few dialect myths rankle more people than the purported Irish phrase, “top o’ the morning.”  Any Irish person will inform you that they have never, ever heard even one of their countrymen utter these words. So where did the greeting come … Continue reading


Posted in Irish English | Tagged , | 15 Comments

A Rant: Accents and Bad Journalism

I realize that accents and dialects constitute a fairly obscure topic.  But I’m finding myself increasingly dismayed by how terribly journalism bungles this area of study. Look, I understand how easy it is to mess up facts when it comes … Continue reading


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Cheryl Cole’s Accent: You Decide

I don’t want this to turn into a pop culture site, but it is hard to ignore the recent hubbub surrounding Cheryl Cole. As I mentioned a few days back, Ms. Cole is a pretty pop singer from the UK … Continue reading


Posted in British English, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Australians do the Best Accents

I often use Google News to write this blog. Crude source of inspiration it may be, but searching for permutations of “dialect,” “accent,” or “language” gives me a wealth of material to ponder. There is one exception to this, however, … Continue reading


Posted in Australian English | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Americans: Intolerant of Regional Accents?

I often assume that the British are more accent-conscious than we Americans are. Let me put that more bluntly: I assume the British are more accent-intolerant than we are. There is a good bit of evidence to support this. Brits … Continue reading


Posted in Accent Reduction | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

North America’s Strange “Island” Dialects

One of my missions in life is to convince non-Americans that we do not, in fact, all speak alike. Sadly, the media are against me: most foreigners get their ideas of how we speak from American television, where accents are … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on North America’s Strange “Island” Dialects

Jonathan Ross and the Letter R

For many years, Britons have mocked television host Jonathan Ross for his pronunciation of the letter “r.” Ross seems to replace this letter with a “w,” so it appears to oustiders that he pronounces his own name “Jonathan Woss.” In … Continue reading


Posted in English Phonetics | Tagged , , | 12 Comments