How Bush talks

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 30 16:20:50 UTC 2006

This is an interesting question, because it raises the whole issue of what is 
or is not "authentic." One way of approaching it would be to listen to 
samples of W's speech in relatively informal, intimate situations. If he shifts 
accent for public consumption, then one might be justified in saying that his 
public voice is not authentic. But an individual's selection of a base "accent" 
is, as we know from the extensive sociolinguistic research of the past 20-30 
years, very complex and only partly conscious--as is their selection of 
performance accents. W's public accent has always sounded to me like that of a man so 
unsure of his REAL identity that he fixed fiercely upon what seemed to be a 
tough-guy cowboy lingo and clung tenaciously to it at whatever cost and in 
whatever situation. But In have to admit that this is not a professional opinion, 
nor is it one that may not have been colored by my view of the man's politics 
and biography.

In a message dated 12/30/06 10:53:18 AM, cdoyle at UGA.EDU writes:

> A couple of days ago, I referred to President Bush as "not a REAL Texan."  
> Of course, I was being facetious, and not altogether respectful.  More 
> specifically, though:
> I was born and raised in Texas, got all my formal education there, and I 
> have listened to thousands of Texans speak.  Although the Lone Star State 
> encompasses a number of dialects and sub-dialects, the "Texas accent" of the 
> president (himself a sheltered scion of Connecticut Yankee stock) has always 
> sounded unauthentic to me.  I am being impressionistic here--not at all analytical.
> Has any dialectologist carefully studied Bush's speech patterns?  Is there 
> evidence that he ever engaged a speech coach--maybe one of those who teach 
> Hollywood actors to badly imitate Texans or Southerners in general?
> Just wondering . . . .
> --Charlie
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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