linguistic analysis

Discussion in 'Research' started by NWOPD, May 1, 2022.

  1. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I understand how it sounded like I meant that. I only mentioned the particular speeches because they're so well known and I *THINK* they're examples (not completely sure, but it seems likely). I don't know if public speakers and radio/TV announcers tended to be upper-class and from those areas, or if people had to learn to talk that way to get hired, or what. It might have been a trend, and people just learned to talk like that if they wanted to get a speaking job. I like conjecturing about this kind of stuff.
     
  2. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Not necessarily upper-class, but Dan Rather mentions having had to ditch his native Texas accent when he became a national news anchor, and Maureen Corrigan, the book reviewer for NPR, talked about how she had to disguise a very distinctive Brooklyn accent. Both went for the "generic American" accent rather than an upper-class one, though. So I think the trend goes the other way, with people hiding whatever upper-class accents they may have had in order to get hired by mainstream media.

    The only commentator I can think of who used an upper-class accent throughout his career was William F. Buckley.
     
  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Well it would depend on the time period of course. By the time of Dan Rahter (though I'm not sure when he first got started) I don't think anybody was really using the Mid Atlantic dialect anymore. I was talking about early television and radio, from before WWII. William F Buckley was one of the people mentioned in that article who had it. They also tended to talk in a high somewhat nasaly range, because microphones of the time didn't deal well with a more baritone voice.
     
  4. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    I think you're right about that. Those media, like early sound films, descended directly from "stage diction" an era where actors would use a special sort of diction that helped them project their voices, and I would imagine that the British influence was strong there. And, of course, most of the plays and films of that era portrayed upper-class life (or what was imagined as upper-class life) rather that of the common folk... Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and William Inge had yet to make their marks on drama. The only exception I can think of is George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, where use is made of a lower-class Cockney accent, and the whole point of that play was to show the difference between that sort of talk and the rarified upper-class accent used by Higgins and Pickering.
     
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  5. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "accent" was an example of the posh accent described. JFK's accent was pure Boston, and I'm sure it wasn't taught to him -- that's the way they talk around there (at least the upper crust of Boston and environs.)
     
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  6. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    True. and many people have become acquainted with a working-class white Bostonian accent while listening to the Magliozzi brothers on the American radio program Car Talk.
     
  7. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    Dewey, Cheatem and Howe.

    They actually had an office with that name painted on the windows overlooking a square in Cambridge.
     
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