3.27.2007

Milking the British accent

Toby Young, one of the few famous people I'd like to meet, has an interesting article that refutes the popular belief that Brits "have succeeded in bilking the American entertainment industry out of hundreds of millions of dollars simply by speaking in 'veddy Briddish' accents." He quotes Stephen Fry (some Brit who's probably well-known but whose name I don't recognize) as saying, "I sometimes wonder if Americans aren't fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there."

Sorry, but Americans aren't so duped, and luckily, Toby agrees:

In my experience, this particular cliche is long past its sell-by date. Planeloads of freeloading British hacks - not to mention the three million British tourists who visit the country every year - have poisoned that well. On first hearing an English accent 50 years ago, Americans might have thought: stately home, private school, good manners. Nowadays, they think: low income, poor diet, alcohol problem.

So according to Toby Young, Brits perhaps can't milk their accent anymore. They actually have to prove themselves.

4 comments:

Rose said...

Hey Toby, add to that list "bad teeth". I hear this is something that Americans always notice about the Brits. But I say, better bad teeth that are real, than expensive, fake-looking veneers. What's up with those. I noticed that even David Bowie finally ditched his crooked teeth (which I loved) for some big horsey white veneers. Shame on you, Mr Bowie!

Toby Young is a pretty good read. I like him.

mj said...

In his column he talks about Americans mentioning Brits' bad teeth. I love Bowie, never liked his teeth :) But fake ones can be too much--go to Beverly Hills and you'll see plenty of them.

Read Toby's books--they're really good! I'd love to meet him!

Rose said...

I know I've read one but I can't for the life of me remember what it was called. It was about his experiences working for Vanity Fair – part of it was, anyway. Nice wry humour.

mj said...

It was called "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People."