For obvious reasons involving copyright laws, I can’t reprint a fascinating article from the Wall Street Journal published yesterday.

 If you have an account to get through their paywall, the link for the article is  HERE.

 If you don’t…here’s the gist:

Formal (upper echelon) British accents are no longer in vogue with many producers who sense that listeners don’t connect with that stratum of society anymore.

 Here’s a telling quote from the article written by Neanda Salvaterra:  “…Many of the U.K.’s biggest brands are ditching commanding, elite-sounding voices. Instead, companies including financial-services firm Barclays PLC and retailer Marks& Spencer are going for voice-overs from people with less froufrou regional lilts...”

That’s resulted in more than a few UK voice actors losing some pound sterling; those who had been doing quite well recording in a style that epitomized the Queen’s English. That, according to the author who goes on to say:  “…For British consumers, the stiff-upper-lip speaking style of the nobility, where vowels are slightly flattened—so “happy” sounds like “heppy”—has become negatively associated with authority and privilege…” 

This is the inexorable march of an ever-developing language & dialect AND the expectation of the listener...most all of whom are getting more sensitive to the distinctions of class and cultural change Click To Tweet

 

Does anything here sound familiar to those of you on THIS side of the pond?  For me, it harkens back to the many audition requests I’ve received where the directions specify “Conversational, please!”…even though we all know good ‘n’ well even the person who wrote the specs has NO idea what that means…or they’d just go record someone on the street, right?

You know what this is?  This is the inexorable march of an ever-developing language & dialect AND the expectation of the listener…most all of whom are getting more sensitive to the distinctions of class and cultural change. Advertisers and retailers are notably keen on trends — especially consumer trends. 

I remember hearing for the first time hearing then-candidate John F. Kennedy say “Kyoo-Ber” when referring to Cuba, and wondering where THAT country was.

Proper grammarians and linguists can lament the demise of  “correct” use of English all they want, but once the masses have decided, words like twerk, YOLO, and fleek end up winning the day.

Not just the words themselves, but the way they are spoken is obviously HUGE.  No one knows more than an ex news-anchor who is constantly being told that his delivery is “too articulate”, “robotic”, or “overly formal”.

Sheesh, first announcers are out, then so are people who take care to be careful in their diction.  

S’OK. 

Gotta adapt or die, right?  

Be agile….change with the times.

That is, if you want to keep working.

Tallyho!

Cheers, old chap!

CourVO

 

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