Exhibit A - a working farmer

Snap JJ!


I feeyoo a bit terriboo about mocking her accent now as it’s natural to her. She was rather sweet in that clip, wasn’t she? Still think she’s a crap actor though.


I don’t. Because her lack of consistency in speech makes her a lousy actor. Particularly lousy for radio, where her other compensatory attributes are not exactly obvious.


Yes, she is rotten for radio.

I had assumed she would have a natural local accent which got very muddled when she went away to drama school and mixed with folk from all round. I would have some sympathy with that in real life. I can’t help picking up what’s around me and developed an accent from all over the north of England in a student shared house. Nobody could place me at all. (There’s a technical term for people who can’t help picking up what they hear spoken around them… What is it? Going mad trying to remember.)

But even if that had happened to DB, I would expect a modern actor to be able to adopt a consistent accent in character. It’s become part of the trade.

(Whatever the word is for people who pick up prevailing accents like contagions, I didn’t get it from my father. He was totally North Walian all his life despite sharing a POW hut with 25 Englishmen and 24 Scotsmen and moving to South Wales afterwards.)


I tend to do that as well. And I don’t know what it is called either.


Just noticed - that was twelve years ago, so she’s the same age as Akneejerk… :wink:

I can’t help feeling that the role is too prominent for an inexperienced radio actor; was there no Carleton Hobbs laureate available? They usually get a stint in TA: Jude, Emma, Leonie all came out of that scheme, as, further back, did Joe, Pat, Lynda, David, Caroline…


Mirroring? I am horribly prone to it.
Not only accents, either. In one work incarnation I spent much of most days on the phone interviewing people whose first language was not English but who mostly spoke it pretty well. I managed on the whole not to bounce their accents back to them, I think, but I do remember the delightful woman who collapsed in helpless giggling because after about 15 minutes I was using the same tortured constructions that she did. ‘There’, she said. ‘I have “broken your English!”’.

Oh, and just a train of thought here: you would be amazed at what contortions the name McCleod causes in a French switchboard operator… Oh, and Geraghty.


If you want real fun, try Irish names in Lithuania. Not only do they have to cope with the original pronunciation, but Lithuanian uses a fairly complex case/gender system, with additional rules depending on whether a name ends in a vowel or consonant; feminine names are uninflected if they end in a consonant, for example.

In accordance with Davies’s translation strategies, male names are generally localized and female names are both localized and preserved. Translation of most male names violates language principles established by the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language; whereas, female names are translated in compliance with the requirements of the Commission. Applying Venuti’s principles of translation it is concluded that a considerable number of personal names falls under domestication principle. The usage of preservation and localization reveals the translator’s attempt to provide as accurate and clear a translation as possible, presenting all necessary information for Lithuanian readers.

Saulė Juzelėnienė, Saulė Petronienė, Ksenija Kopylova: The Translation of Proper Names from English to Lithuanian in ⿿Steve Jobs⿿ by W. Isaacson⿿
International Conference on Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language, GlobELT 2016, 14-17 April 2016, Antalya, Turkey



[whimper whine flee] bleedin’ 'eck. It’s a minefarm, I tell you. A gin for the unwatchful.


Ta. That usually means unconsciously mimicking non-verbal signals but it made me remember that the accent/way of speaking version is called verbal convergence. Can switch brain off now.

A thought before I do. The theory about why people find themselves using the accent of those they are speaking to is that they are “affiliating” themselves with their interlocutors, to make communication flow more easily. Supposedly it is usually easier (not always) when people feel affiliation with each other. Which brings me to Ruth and the way her accent remains stubbornly what it is despite years in Borsetshire: clearly a non-affiliator.