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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Accent

Americans didn’t lose their British accent – rather they kept the accents the arrived with and the British accent evolved differently. Today’s Americans probably sound more like the British of the past than do today's Brits.

It's thought that Received Pronunciation - the traditional "cut-glass" English accent - only emerged relatively recently, in the 19th century.  Because the Received Pronunciation accent was regionally "neutral" and easy to understand, it spread across England and the empire through the armed forces, the civil service and, later, the BBC.

The Transatlantic accent was developed mainly in private independent preparatory schools especially in the American Northeast and in acting schools during the 1930s and 1940s. Although it became fashionable in Hollywood and related media, the accent's overall usage declined following World War II.

William Joyce, aka Lord Haw-Haw, the radio traitor whose ‘Jairmany calling’ accent yesterday gave him away, is tonight in custody. Passing two British Army officers who were gathering sticks in a wood near the German border, Joyce remarked that he too often collected firewood there. One officer said: ‘you’re William Joyce — I’d know your voice anywhere.’

Before his success, the actor James Franco would practice different accents on the customers he served at McDonald's.

Accents in Britain change noticeably every 25 miles.




In real life, the dwarves from J.R.R Tolkien's books would have Arabic or Hebrew accents, since he based their speech on Semitic languages.

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