Sunday, May 29

World

Consonental Drift

I always thought the term Mid-Atlantic in Mid-Atlantic accent refered to the same Mid-Atlantic as the Mid-Atlantic states.

Turns out that it's an artificial accent deliberately created to be equally well-received in America and Britain - half-way between, in fact - so it really means Mid-Atlantic as in the Mid-Atlantic ridge.  Which is why it's not heard any more - it was created at a particular time to serve a particular purpose, rather than arising organically in a regional population.

Which came up because I was watching The Idiot's Lantern just now (new Doctor Who, series 2 episode 7), and the lady in* the television is doing a flawless 1950's received pronunciation (i.e. BBC English) accent.

Which has likewise pretty much disappeared now, encountered only in old TV shows and new period pieces.  Which is what The Idiot's Lantern is.  And when I started looking things up on Wikipedia, things fell into place.

* Yes. **
** Spoilers, as River Song would say.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:49 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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The post-modern BBC has been waging war on "received pronounciation" since at least the late 70s, with the World Service being the last bastion to fall.  Something about producing "more accessible" programming with which the illiterate masses could "more closely identify."

Bah.  Bring back John Reith.

Posted by: Old Grouch at Tuesday, May 31 2011 12:29 PM (gcUG7)

Posted by: Rick C at Friday, June 03 2011 11:27 AM (VKVOz)

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