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25 September 2008

Could someone more familar with british accents tell me how common this one is? Because it seems pretty hardcore.
It's hard to concentrate on his voice with that annoying commentary over the top of it. My guess is the guy is from somewhere in south-west England, what with the way he pronounces climb as cloimb, etc. The accent plus the lisp & the dropped aitches, & the unpronounced Rs make it a little harder than the average to understand, but I wouldn't consider it especially hardcore (but then I am British).
posted by misteraitch 25 September | 01:50
Unusual, but not hardcore. I can't really place it because of the commentry too. However, if I were to make a guess, I'd place it in Bristol.

posted by seanyboy 25 September | 02:08
Here's the unspoiled versions.
posted by seanyboy 25 September | 02:11
Wow. No offense meant to the brit bunnies but this guy's accent is completely fucking insane.
posted by puke & cry 25 September | 02:32
It's not just the accent. There's some minor speech impediments in there too. I feel sorry for the guy. He's probably had grief for his voice for ever, and this video must have really upset him.
posted by seanyboy 25 September | 02:41
I think it sounds cool.
posted by chillmost 25 September | 02:56
Yes, some of what you're hearing is the accent (the long vowels & the dropped aitches, 'th' as 'f' [birthday as birfday]), & some of it (the non-rhoticity) is what might be considered a speech impediment - although this, to my ears, seems to be getting ever more commonplace in the UK, so can hardly be much of an impediment at all...

For a more stereotypical West Country accent, listen to Phil Harding.

My own native (South Wales Valleys) accent is considered hardcore by some: check out Taff Wars for a taste of it.
posted by misteraitch 25 September | 03:00
He sounds like a nice guy, if a bit uncomplicated. Could just be the accent/impediments. Reminds me of Roland's friend from Grange Hill for some reason.

Talking of Welsh accents, I heard a guy from North Wales (Snowdonia) talking the other day and found the accent pretty difficult to parse at first. When I had got used to the mixture of Welsh and scouse intonation I could actually start listening to what he was saying. As my family always went to Pembrokeshire (also known as Sir Benfro, but not by my grandmother who liked to point out her English heritage) I have only heard Welsh and south Wales English accents.

Also, I like the film Twin Town, in which there is some swearing.
posted by asok 25 September | 06:08
The accent is fairly unremarkable, but he has a very odd rhythm and emphasis pattern.
posted by cillit bang 25 September | 06:11
Sounds like a pretty standard West Country accent (around Bristol) with a slight stutter sometimes. Couldn't here that much over the yakking though.

It's not particularly exceptional. I think Americans tend to have pretty homogenous accents without much regional variation.

You can hear a few seconds of David Prowse doing Darth Vader's lines in the same accent.
posted by TheophileEscargot 25 September | 06:22
Even better: Hot Fuzz scene.
posted by TheophileEscargot 25 September | 08:07
that scene from Hot Fuzz has me peeing my pants every time I see it. Pity its cut short in that youtube link.
As cillit bang says the accent is not completely unusual for that part of the country but going by intonation I think this person may be communicatively challenged.
posted by Wilder 25 September | 10:04
Nthing this isn't a hardcore accent, but the poor guy has a bit of a speech impediment. I find the snarking over the top *much* more irritating.

For proper hardcore, try Glaswegian.
posted by altolinguistic 25 September | 11:14
And the now classic Taysiders In Space...
posted by small_ruminant 25 September | 11:24
It's an East Midlands accent, I'd guess maybe Nottingham (although it's a little mild for Notts) or perhaps a little further south-east, Northampton or Grantham maybe. It's definitely not a West Country or Bristol accent. I grew up in the East Midlands so I recognise that flat vowel sound very well.

It's also a hard accent for people to pinpoint, and whenever dramas are set in the East Midlands the accents are always wrong, either too Yorkshire or too Brummie.
posted by essexjan 25 September | 11:31
"Hardcore" is an odd way to put it, yes. Until a generation ago most British subjects would have had a quite locally specific accent, and many still do.

The upper classes, and the universities, created an accent called Received Pronunciation, and this was standard at the BBC through at least the 1970s. All the original Doctor Whos, no matter where the actors came from, used an RP variant, and I'm watching right now a drama set in the Channel Islands, who have a very distinct accent, but all the characters speak RP. In British TV and movies of the era a "regional" accent would be used to mark a character as lower class, eccentric, or amusing.

Anyway, most Americans are exposed primarily to RP, so think of that as the British accent. But it's only one.

Today RP is being replaced by something called Estuary English, sort of a sloppier, more regional-sounding informalization of RP. Tennant's Doctor speaks Estuary (he's actually Scottish, so it's a put-on for him).

Bracing for corrections by the natives... ;-)
posted by stilicho 25 September | 11:42
stilicho- that happened here in the states, too. It's a real shame that so many of the regional American accents are disappearing. I blame Hollywood.

When my great-grandmother moved to California from Kentucky she had to take lessons to get rid of her accent before she could get any voice work.
posted by small_ruminant 25 September | 11:45
You're pretty much right, stilicho. Also creeping in is 'Mockney', where middle-class men (it's always men, I've never heard a woman speak in it) talk in a fake Cockney accent. Jamie Oliver is the worst example of this, but Mick Jagger started it.
posted by essexjan 25 September | 12:17
Heh! Mick Jagger, the pride of Dartford.

When Mr. Psho is back online I'll have him give a listen. Mr. Psho was born in Chelmsford, grew up in Maidstone, his mum is from Nottingham, and his dad is from East London.
posted by psho 25 September | 14:28
Thanks for all the info folks.
posted by puke & cry 25 September | 16:17
that happened here in the states, too

No, no it didn't. It's a myth that the American accent is converging or merging. There are many regional trends such as the Northern Cities Vowel Shift that show that regional pronunciation and vocabulary are not only changing, but perhaps faster than in the past. California is also a place where accents are diverging away from the rest of the country.

The standard US broadcast accent -- Midwestern -- wasn't an analogue of RP, anyway. The closest thing might be a New England accent with some upper class tones, something associated with prep schools and the Ivy League, but if anything that's an accent that's been marginalized -- at least out of the public eye.
posted by stilicho 25 September | 23:36
Wow! I'm so glad to hear that! The older I get, the more I feel like everyone's copying the Baywatch accent, no matter where I am. I will be very happy if that's just confirmation bias, because the Californian accent isn't anything anyone should be excited about emulating.

Ok, that said- why have country music DJs in California started using Appalachian style accents? Country and Western music have a perfectly respectable history in California and the west in general. Suddenly Kentucky or Tennessee are more "country"? Have some pride, people!
posted by small_ruminant 26 September | 00:38
The country DJ thing - I would think that would be obvious. Country music fans are more comfortable with someone talking about country music if the DJs talk like hicks, no matter where they actually are in the US. The more country the better to appeal to those fans.
posted by puke & cry 26 September | 01:24
I should point out that the country DJ thing is a reflection of the abomination that is the "country music" industry. Apparently you can take a pop song and add a petal steel guitar and it's country. See Jessica Simpson.
posted by puke & cry 26 September | 01:33
Regional accents really haven't disappeared here in the UK, even in the last generation - it's still true that when people move around the country they'll tend to neutralise their accent for the sake of mutual understanding, but the accents themselves are alive and well. TV is, of course, hardly representative, though there are more presenters with regional accents other than London/RP now than there used to be.

I live in a medium-sized town in the West Midlands, and the accent here is different from the Birmingham accent, which in turn is different from the accent of the surrounding Black Country, which is different from the Leicester accent and the accents of the Welsh border counties. All these places are within 50 miles of one another.
posted by altolinguistic 26 September | 08:14
Why do commercial airline pilots in the States all seem to have that drawl/twang? Surely they're are not all from Texas?
posted by psho 26 September | 14:57
I think most commercial airline pilots used to be military pilots. From watching "The Right Stuff", I get the impression that the drawl develops in flight school. In response to radio communication, perhaps?

That's a lot of speculation in 3 short sentences!
posted by muddgirl 26 September | 15:08
I don't know about flight school, but you can usually pick out career military people from their vaguely southern accents, no matter where they're from originally.

puke & cry, California has a perfectly good hick accent, but it's being overrun by the Tennessee/Kentucky/generic southern-y one.
posted by small_ruminant 26 September | 18:46
Vicious bear attack in Colorado caught on video (SLYT) || Lou Rawls - Tobacco Road (1963)