‘ello, Poppet! Our Obsession With Accents!

We, citizens of the USA, have a slight obsession with accented people. Particularly those people from a “Commonwealth Country” (U.K., Australia, Ireland/Scotland etc…) We love it. We eat it up.

Want your game show to succeed? Get an Australian model to emcee it, a snarky British guy to judge it and some sweet Irish lady to sing in it!

Want your movie to have a “romantic element”? Try casting the mysterious male lead as one deeply accented Irish guy. We don’t even care what they look like (um, Professor Snape anyone?) Just make them accented and all of a sudden we are in L-O-V-E! 

HUGE literature market– “Regency Romance” novels, set in Victorian era England. Guess what, those “rakehells” have lots of accents. They are always around to save the day with their devilish charm and dashing expertise at debauchery that only a lonely, secretly sensitive, rich as Midas and ridiculously handsome Duke could have. Natch.

Have something with a pirate in it? It’s probably a Commonwealth Pirate.

Have bad news to share? Get your friendly British correspondent to share it, it sounds better that way. Instead of the guy from Cleveland saying, “In other news, we have discovered XYZ causes cancer.” Get the calm, cool and collected British news expert to share the news in her soothing accent and inherent NON-Americanness. “Researchers at the Royal Academy of Health Sciences have discovered a disturbing link between ZYX and a rise in cancer rates among a certain population of people. More research is needed into this trend and will commence shortly. This is Sharon of BBC. Back to you in Cleveland, Hank.” 

Want to be mysterious and attractive to an American? Be British. Or Irish. Or Scots. Or Australian. Heck, even the Kiwi’s got it going on.

It is amazing, this accent power. We are mesmerized. Why is that? Why is it mostly the Commonwealth countries too? Why not Germany? or Poland? Why this obsession? #1 voice for GPS systems: the British guy. (I’ll admit.. my voice for mine is some sort of Sean Connery imitator, he is a waaaaaay step up from the previous voice of George W. 🙂 )

British inspired comedy has an almost cult-like following in the USA. We laugh buckets at the antics of the silly gear-head hosts of Top Gear. We smirk as we stuff our faces with cheese puffs and watch Monty Python for the 1000th time. We are hooked. They have us! We love our accented people!! Millions had parties when Royal’s Will and Kate wed. I even stayed up late for the hoopla. We agonized over the minute details. We sighed in happiness as “our” goofy Prince struggled to get that ring over his gorgeous’ princesses ring finger. We looked on with approval as Pippa, in all her Royal Hotness totally stole the show.

Do we secretly long for what could have been ours those many years ago before we broke away? Do we trust a foreign accent more? What is the draw??

For me. As much as I do enjoy a fun accent,I have lived in the U.K. and I discovered an alarming phenomenon: I pick it up. I can’t actually control it, and it is NOT a good imitation usually. Mostly it sounds like an American who is attempting to accent her words differently (and incorrectly) and thus sounds really weird. I hear it. I know it. I can’t stop it. It’s not “hot”, it’s mostly just odd and rather awkward. But there is something about this Commonwealth accent that just draws you in. Like Julie Andrews. Harry Potter. Colin Firth. Mr. Darcy.

Now if you will please excuse me, I must go forth and continue watching Pride and Prejudice for the 500th time. That Mr. Darcy…MmHmmm! 😀

One Response to “‘ello, Poppet! Our Obsession With Accents!”
  1. Amanda says:

    … ya know… for all the pirates being Somalian or whatever now, there DOES seem to be an outrageous amount of Commonwealth pirates. What about the pirates in China or even in America?

    Do you think George Washington spoke with an English accent? o_O Because if George Washington didn’t speak with an English accent, then NO ONE IN AMERICA should speak with an English accent. Viva la George!

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