fake American dialects

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Jun 23 16:28:54 UTC 2008

In a number of British TV productions shown here, I have noticed an
accent intended to be American, but which immediately strikes me as
not genuine.  I've surmised, since it sounds very similar in all the
instances, that it's something that has been taught to the
actors.  I'm not able to name the shows specifically, but instances
occurred I think in some of the PBS "Mystery" episodes.  Perhaps the
American looking for a third in "The Adventure of the Three
Garridebs".  The accent is kind of clipped, and (to my untutored
ears) not overtly regional, and with both men and women.


At 6/23/2008 11:46 AM, Page Stephens wrote:
>... The point I am making is that you have to deal first of all with your
>audience and then with accuracy since most of them wouldn't know the
>difference anyway.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "David Donnell" <daviddonnell at NYC.RR.COM>
>Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:57 AM
>Subject: [ADS-L] fake American dialects (Society Listserv?)
>>Was listening to Brit actor Hugh Laurie in his lead role on the TV
>>series "House"... Was wondering if his fake American accent is as
>>solid as it seems, or if it's just that his voice is compelling; I
>>don't pick up anything regional when he speaks, as I often do with my
>>fellow Americans, no sense of place to it.
>>Also, South African Charlize Theron seems quite good at her assumed
>>American accent, although there's something I can't put my finger on
>>that bugs me about it. (Not that I've spent tons of time listening to
>>her.) In any case, unlike the "House" guy, Theron's U.S. dialect
>>isn't just for a role, she apparently uses it in real life...
>>stateside at least.
>>Any other favorite fake U.S. accents? (Whether competent or
>>entertaining; Monty Python used to crack me up with their screwy
>>American accents.)
>>Missourian @ NYC
>>Wikipedia on Hugh Laurie's American accent:
>>For his portrayal, Laurie assumes an American accent.[1] Laurie was
>>in Namibia filming Flight of the Phoenix and recorded the audition
>>tape for the show in the bathroom of the hotel, the only place he
>>could get enough light.[8] His US accent was so convincing that
>>executive producer Bryan Singer, who was unaware at the time that
>>Laurie is English, pointed to him as an example of just the kind of
>>compelling American actor he had been looking for. Laurie also adopts
>>the voice between takes on the set of House, as well as during script
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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