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Why do we not speak like those in the UK?

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?

by Anonymousreply 4110/12/2013

To begin, we sound "different."

Not "differently."


by Anonymousreply 110/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 210/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 310/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 410/10/2013

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"

by Anonymousreply 510/10/2013

Nobody has answered OP's question, just acted like asses.

by Anonymousreply 610/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 710/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 810/10/2013

Why don't we drive on the same side of the road?

by Anonymousreply 910/10/2013

I'm an American in London and just thrilled at how easy it is to say 'cunt' in polite company.

by Anonymousreply 1010/10/2013

OP, watch this documentary - "The Story of English"

by Anonymousreply 1110/10/2013

[quote]Nobody has answered OP's question, just acted like asses.

You're not too bright, huh?

by Anonymousreply 1210/10/2013

It's arses. Twat.

by Anonymousreply 1310/10/2013

[quote]General American is the gold standard of the US MSM as it is most understandable of all English accents.


by Anonymousreply 1410/10/2013

R9 Because Napeoleon was left-handed, or maybe because of the Teamsters.

Apparently the Romans drove on the left.

by Anonymousreply 1510/10/2013


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..."

by Anonymousreply 1610/10/2013

Stupid question.

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.

by Anonymousreply 1710/10/2013

[quote]Anchors Away

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 1810/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 1910/10/2013

[quote]bacon botty

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 2010/10/2013

"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.

by Anonymousreply 2110/10/2013

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?

by Anonymousreply 2210/10/2013

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!

by Anonymousreply 2310/10/2013

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?

by Anonymousreply 2410/10/2013

Link below to a map of US and Canadian accents.

Interesting how General American has taken over Florida since the end of WW2.

by Anonymousreply 2510/10/2013

It's butty, R21 and pronounced as spelt on both sides of the Atlantic. You have a strange grasp of phonetics.

A botty is where you shit from.

by Anonymousreply 2610/10/2013

City on fire! City on fire!

by Anonymousreply 2710/10/2013

R19 Bacon butty! It's a bacon sandwich. Botty is another term for bottom or buttocks lol.

Thank you wikipedia.

by Anonymousreply 2810/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 2910/10/2013

r29 WTH are you talking about?? No Irish accent sounds anything like any American accent.

by Anonymousreply 3010/10/2013

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?

by Anonymousreply 3110/10/2013

Great post, R8. I was gonna chime in to say that but you articulated it far better than I would!

by Anonymousreply 3210/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3310/10/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3410/10/2013

OP, get Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue" audiobook, explains the accent shift nicely.

by Anonymousreply 3510/10/2013

I love threads like this as it shows just how smart but also ignorant posters on here are

by Anonymousreply 3610/10/2013

This is what you get when asking the opinion of homoseksuals

by Anonymousreply 3710/10/2013

r30 wrong. Google "American accent sounds like.." in google & guess what comes up first?

IRISH accent.

Further down there are these entries

does American English sound like Irish English? | Antimoon Forum › Forum Archive › English‎ Nov 21, 2005 - 15 posts - ‎12 authors I've heard a lot of English people say that American accents sound very similar to Irish accents. I'm an American and I don't hear it, but then ... Holy crap, this Dublin accent sounds almost American 7 posts Dec 23, 2008 Which British accent sounds closest to American accent? 15 posts Oct 2, 2008 American and Irish accents 15 posts May 4, 2008 What accent do you really hate? and which one you love? 15 posts Jan 12, 2006 More results from Do Irish accents sound vaguely American to you? - Yahoo! Answers › All Categories › Society & Culture › Languages‎ Apr 7, 2011 - To me, it sounds way more like an American accent than all the English accents I've ever heard, which surprised me because I expect Irish ... Do American girls like Irish or English accents more? Jun 24, 2012 Does this Irish lady sound like she has an American accent ... Feb 20, 2011 Why does the Northern Irish accent sound like the American accent ... Feb 26, 2010 What does the American accent sound like to the Irish? Mar 10, 2008 More results from Irish accents, why do some people say they sound American ... › City-Data Forum › World Forums › Europe‎ Mar 30, 2011 - To me the Irish accent sounds very similar to the Scottish accent. Reply With Quote ... But I don't know about this Irish-American thing. Maybe ... American Accent + English Accent = Irish Accent??? - UK Yankee › General › Expat Life‎ Oct 7, 2011 - 15 posts - ‎13 authors I don't think that American and Irish accents should all that much alike at all, personally. I've always thought that Australian accents sound like ... Irish with American accents - Page 9 - › Rec › After Hours‎ Jul 24, 2012 - American accent sounds far better and should be taught in schools to .... Pulling in America with an Irish accent is like fishing with the flying lure. How to speak English like the Irish - Fluent in 3 months - Language ...‎ by Benny Lewis - in 5,605 Google+ circles Ready to learn how to speak with an Irish accent in English? ... As lovely as the Irish 't' is, most English learners would prefer to sound like an American or a Brit ... American accent vs British & Irish accents - spoken by NATIVE ... ► 16:55► 16:55‎ Dec 10, 2012 - Uploaded by babyboosabz The American accent goes head to head with British and Irish accents.All the people in the clips used are ... What do American girls think of the Irish Accent, is it sexy or a ...‎ Mar 19, 2010 - I think american girls like any accent tbh. 3/19/2010 Ben ... The closer you sound to Bono, the less likely you are to take a lady home. Seriously ... Non-Americans: What does an American accent sound like? - Godlike ...‎ Dec 1, 2010 - 31 posts - ‎4 authors Also a Canadian accent is closer to the American accent than the stereotype Southern States/Dixie accent, Canadians sound like a mix of Irish ... American vs. British accents - › Urban Legends › Language‎ Jan 24, 2013 - 20 posts - ‎18 authors A "typical" American newsreader-style accent sounds like some combination of an Irish accent with various rural English accents to me. Northern Irish/English accent connection - WordReference Forums › English Only › English Only‎ Oct 9, 2006 - 20 posts - ‎12 authors Standard

by Anonymousreply 3810/11/2013

Does this Irish lady sound like she has an American accent?


"Yes she has an Irish accent but not a very pronounced one. The mainstream American accent is similar to the Irish accent, as well as the Scottish accent, in that they are both rhotic accents, ie. they pronounce their Rs at the end of a syllable. Some people therefore think that the Scottish and Irish accents have been the biggest influences in forming the present American accent but, the thing is, the English accent was also primarily rhotic up until the 19th century. Therefore when England was colonising North America most of the colonists would have had rhotic accents, similar to the present Irish and Scottish accents, and its quite likely the present mainstream American accent is more heavily influenced by the 17th and 18th century English accent. That's not to say that the Irish and Scottish accents haven't had some influence because they are thought to have a strong influence on certain southern American accents. "

by Anonymousreply 3910/11/2013

I hear it

by Anonymousreply 4010/12/2013

I know someone from Iceland, and out of all the non-American/Canadian people I know here in London, his English accent is the closest to an American one.

by Anonymousreply 4110/12/2013
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