Just wondering . .
Why does American English sound differently than UK English? Shouldn't we have kept the accent since they founded the Colonies?
What happened to make us sound differently?
To begin, we sound "different."
uh, sweetie, we haven't lived near each other or at times even heard each other for well over two centuries. the north american accent was talked about even in the mid-18th century.
The English came here almost 400 years ago. They mixed with Dutch, German, French Spanish and Native speakers. There is no single British accent.
It would be bizarre if we all sounded like Prince Charles.
The largest single immigrant group in the US are Germans, so by your logic we should all talk like Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes.
OP, listen to any PBS viewing household after an episode of Masterpiece Theater or Nicholas Nickleby and you'll hear plenty of Americans slipping on a British accent.
It sounds like Sylvester Stallone reciting Shakespeare while sucking on Ian McKellen's grizzled balls, but it's the effort that counts.
"Ou, ou, bweef cahndohw!"
"Wife's buh a walwing wadow"
Nobody has answered OP's question, just acted like asses.
What people here said.
You have an even better example. Australia and NZ. The original population there was a lot more homogeneous than the US (English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish), all of them having different accents (even within each group) and they don't sound like the Brits or any of those groups. They don't sound like Americans either. They developed their own accent. In Great Britain itself today you have many different accents.
In the early 19th century, the British Empire and the US south underwent a vowel shift. The US midlands (Baltimore all the way to the San Francisco Bay Area) were affected the least.
The British linguist and author Antony Burgess was aware of this and preferred American actors to British ones in Shakespearean plays, as the American accent was closer to the London accent of Shakespeare's time.
An even more neutral sounding accent than the Midland is the General American accent, which is spoken near the Midland accent regions.
Where to find the ideal accent? Perhaps around the Des Moines, Iowa metropolitan area may be as close to the original 16th century English as we can get. Anything else is a distortion of the original. General American is the gold standard of the US MSM as it is most understandable of all English accents. This is why UK singers are required to sing with an US accent for world marketing purposes. I can understand Ozzy Osbourne when he sings, but his interviews are only comprehensible to natives of the UK.
I have a friend born in Brighton, England and even his German-born mom with her accent is way easier to understand! As the class system disappears in the UK, General American will take its place as the global village emerges.
Why don't we drive on the same side of the road?
I'm an American in London and just thrilled at how easy it is to say 'cunt' in polite company.
OP, watch this documentary - "The Story of English"
Re: Peter Jennings, it took years to iron out his native accent ("a boot" for "about"), plus a lot of cigarettes to get that rich baritone. He worked hard to get that famous voice. His earlier career in the US was rocky:
"He'd (Jennings) been on the job for only a few months when ABC executives plunked the 26-year-old correspondent behind a desk and made him anchor of the network's 15-minute nightly newscast. They were hoping he might entice younger viewers away from CBS's Walter Cronkite or the NBC duo of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.
Mr. Jennings took the anchorman reins from Ron Cochran -- by coincidence, also a Canadian -- on Feb. 1, 1965. Critics were scathing, calling him a "glamorcaster" and complaining that he was too young and inexperienced. He once jokingly asked the ABC makeup artist to draw bags under his eyes so he would look his age. Viewers didn't like his Canadian accent and the way he said "leftenant" instead of "lieutenant." When he mispronounced Appomattox, an iconic Civil War battle, and misidentified The Marine Hymn as Anchors Away at Lyndon Johnson's presidential inauguration, scathing critics sniffed blood.
He lasted three years in the anchor seat, before being sent back to the field as a roving correspondent..."
OP, did you absorb anything in history class? For starters, the majority of immigrants to this country weren't even English speakers to begin with. The largest immigrant group is Germans, and Africans imported as slaves also had a huge impact on American English. Also, as has been noted, we're thousands of miles from England and separated by an ocean. Third, there isn't even a standard American English; most Americans don't even speak alike due to regional dialects, accents, and differing influences.
I'm just glad we don't eat steak & kidney pie. I still don't know what a bacon botty is. Bangers and beans I've figured out, but not bacon botty.
We have plenty of people who share Hyacinth Buckets (It's Bouquet!)attitude, however.
"Oh dear" doesn't help. I am spelling it phonetically. If you can explain what it is and how it is spelled, great. If not, go away.
For that matter, OP, why do people in New England have a very different accent from people in the South Carolina?
Seriously, are you a complete moron?
r19, the UK does have some colorful names for food: "Toad in the Hole," "Spotted Dick," "Angels on Horseback," "Devils on Horseback" and the like. Some food names are intended to defame minorities in the UK, such as the Welsh and Scottish.
Thank God for American fast food!
R21, if only there were a website that indexes the content on the world wide web, so powerful in its algorithms that even misspellings can bring you to the approximate location of the information. There must be 10^100 of pages, links, definitions, etc. Now what was the term for 10 to the 100th power?
If you watch a lot of BBC shows like I do, you'll find that the Irish sound the most like us. Not all Irish, there's some that sound very similar to us, so I think it's the Irish influence at the turn of the 19th century, when they came here in droves that influenced us the most.
r29 WTH are you talking about?? No Irish accent sounds anything like any American accent.
R10 - Other than how easy it is to say 'cunt' in polite company, what are some of the pros and cons of an American living in London?
Great post, R8. I was gonna chime in to say that but you articulated it far better than I would!
Listen to Andrew Scott (from Dublin) as Moriarty in "Sherlock." He's doing an Irish accent but at times you'd swear he was doing a very good American one.
When a population splits from each other, they develop a separate accent. after all, the way britons speak now is different than how they spoke 400 years ago.
In addition, British migration in the US is minor. The major European group in the US has been Germans, Irish, and Italians.
OP, get Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue" audiobook, explains the accent shift nicely.
I love threads like this as it shows just how smart but also ignorant posters on here are
This is what you get when asking the opinion of homoseksuals
r30 wrong. Google "American accent sounds like.." in google & guess what comes up first?
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