Accent

Johnyxxx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Czech
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
Hello.

Can anybody tell what accent the lady in the video speaks? She was an American but her accent does not sound like an American one. (I cannot hear the American "r" at all)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tH4aJ92PFg

Thanks a lot.
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Good question. I'd like to see what others think.

To me, it sounds like the so-called "mid-Atlantic" accent, from the days when American Hollywood movie stars tried to sound a bit British. (Get it? The accent sounds like it's from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.)

It became so popular that many upper-class Americans started using it in the 1930s and '40s.
 

GoesStation

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
It's Louise Brooks, a major star in the late silent picture era. She grew up in Kansas, USA. In the interview she speaks with the mid-Atlantic accent that film stars of the time learned in elocution lessons — as dramatized below.
 
Last edited:

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
We had a similar phenomenon in Canada back then. It was a snobbish fake British accent now called Canadian dainty. I don't think anybody actually spoke that way in real life.
 

Andromeda

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Hello.

Can anybody tell what accent the lady in the video speaks? She was an American but her accent does not sound like an American one. (I cannot hear the American "r" at all)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tH4aJ92PFg

Thanks a lot.



It is an acquired accent of American actors and higher class society who adopted a fictionalised upper-crust intonation. It is an American-British hybrid. Some linguists think it is faux-British. It seems Jackie Kennedy spoke with that accent.
 

Johnyxxx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Czech
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
It is an acquired accent of American actors and higher class society who adopted a fictionalised upper-crust intonation. It is an American-British hybrid. Some linguists think it is faux-British. It seems Jackie Kennedy spoke with that accent.


That was exactly my thought when I heard the accent for the first time - a hybrid of American and British accent.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Mind you, she did live in Europe for a couple of years, so it could be because of that.
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Mind you, she did live in Europe for a couple of years, so it could be because of that.
Good thought. Keep in mind that it really is a good example of Hollywood's mid-Atlantic accent.
 
Top