Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Celebrating Memorial Day!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-21-2010, 11:47 AM
 
375 posts, read 1,576,177 times
Reputation: 113

Advertisements

When you watch film clips from the 50's and 60's, Americans spoke with a disctinct style and accent. Walter Cronkite, Cary Grant, and Jackie Kennedy spoke this way. Actually, this style of speech probably goes further back than the 50's. Where does this accent come from and why don't we hear it anymore today?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-21-2010, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 86,948,301 times
Reputation: 36644
It was particularly conspicuous in movies of the 1930s and 40s. Every actor, depending on the station of his character, either spoke with a British or a Brooklyn accent. This was taught in acting school, and became fairly standard among the Americans who spent so much time watching movies and identifying with the characters.

Some words were distinctly pronounced differently then, probably influenced by actors. "Take an arrow-plane to Los Angul-eez",

I don't know if it's just me, but in the 50's I thought people had a terrible southern accent anywhere south of central Illinois. Now, I never even notice a southern accent unless it is almost comically severe. Movie actors in southern films way oversouthern their lines, to a laughably conspicuous degree, and it is hard to find anyone now in the south with such an exaggerated accent.

Last edited by jtur88; 04-21-2010 at 12:07 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Whiteville Tennessee
8,262 posts, read 18,482,031 times
Reputation: 10150
Cary Grant was British
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:12 PM
 
375 posts, read 1,576,177 times
Reputation: 113
I'm not sure if I correctly put Walkter Cronkite in the category of people that spoke with this accent I'm thinking of. Just as another example, if you watch science project films narrated by NASA or other gov't scientists, they also spoke this way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:23 PM
 
13,496 posts, read 18,186,065 times
Reputation: 37885
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningMcQueen View Post
When you watch film clips from the 50's and 60's, Americans spoke with a disctinct style and accent. Walter Cronkite, Cary Grant, and Jackie Kennedy spoke this way. Actually, this style of speech probably goes further back than the 50's. Where does this accent come from and why don't we hear it anymore today?
I don't see any similarity in the accents of these three.

However, I do think that in the Fifties and Sixties many more Americans on radio and television spoke with a much "flatter" sounding accent than now. Nevertheless, that same accent is still alive and well among lots of Americans as I hear it all the time among U.S. tourists visiting Europe, though Americans from the Deep South, Texas and the Southwest do not sound that way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 05:52 PM
 
1,034 posts, read 1,798,807 times
Reputation: 2618
Before television there were many more pronounced regional accents. People in national broadcasting used what was called a basic mid-western accent, and over time more and more Americans followed suit, just from listening to it all the time, till it became a sort of generic American accent. People I know from the UK often refer to a BBC accent.
Cary Grant adopted an American accent that was akin to an upper class accent. There are variations, but they seem to have a similar base. In the Philadelphia area it's sometimes referred to as the Main Line Clench. You have to keep your jaw slightly clenched to use it. When I listen to Cary Grant, Kate Hepburn, Jackie Onassis and her cousin Edie Beale in the documentary Gray Gardens, I can hear similarities.
The pronunciation of Los Angeles as Los Anguleez, wasn't really usual in the 30's. I think it's a hold over from Americans pronouncing Los Angeles in a Hispanic manner, with a hard G, in years past. Bugs Bunny used to say Los Anguleez.
When actors came to Hollywood, many of them adopted other accents. In the 30's you can hear a lot of Brooklyn-Bronx type speech, even from actors who came from Iowa or California. This is because of the kind of movies that were popular at the time. In the movies, a wealthy woman usually seemed to have a clench accent or a southern one. I guess it depended on which one they could do.
have you ever heard Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd speak? They had clipped midwestern accents I never hear today. LLoyd was from Nebraska, and Keaton's parents were from Indiana and Iowa.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-21-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 86,948,301 times
Reputation: 36644
I think Art Linkletter was the last survivor of the "Los Anguleez" school. Arrow-plane was actually spelled "aeroplane" until about WWII. The number of actresses that pronounced "Dah-ling" were legion. Leading ladies, in their furs and cigarette holders and hats with mesh veils, being handed a cocktail by a man in a tux in their living room, would invariably use a British accent. Gee whiz, fellas, those movies were swell.

By the way, New York has also gone through a transformation around WWII. Before that, actors in film distinctly pronounced it "Nieu Yawk", as if there was also an Old York and a New Yank, and they were trying to avoid any confusion.

Last edited by jtur88; 04-21-2010 at 06:17 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2010, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Declezville, CA
16,806 posts, read 39,936,349 times
Reputation: 17694
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cold View Post
The pronunciation of Los Angeles as Los Anguleez, wasn't really usual in the 30's. I think it's a hold over from Americans pronouncing Los Angeles in a Hispanic manner, with a hard G
The G isn't hard in Spanish: Los An´-hel-ace
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2010, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 758,366 times
Reputation: 867
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I don't know if it's just me, but in the 50's I thought people had a terrible southern accent anywhere south of central Illinois. Now, I never even notice a southern accent unless it is almost comically severe. Movie actors in southern films way oversouthern their lines, to a laughably conspicuous degree, and it is hard to find anyone now in the south with such an exaggerated accent.
I recently located to NE Tennessee. The people around here have the same southern drawl as did their ancestors. The same goes for SW Virginia. Not sure if its a drawl, probably more of an Appalacian accent, whatever that is. I don't think that accent is going away anytime soon because children sound just like their parents & grandparents.

There is a distinct difference in southern accents depending on what area of the South a person has been raised I think the reason you don't hear a distinctive southern accent in the larger cities of the South is because those area are becoming more & more diverse. For decades people have been moving from all areas to the South for jobs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-22-2010, 04:13 PM
 
1,034 posts, read 1,798,807 times
Reputation: 2618
Quote:
The G isn't hard in Spanish: Los An´-hel-ace
Well, I could swear I learned some Spanish somewhere with a G, maybe it was a different accent or I heard it wrong or remembered it wrong.
Anyway.....I got interested and found this:

Quote:
Pronouncing "Los Angeles"
There was once heated debate over how to pronounce “Los Angeles.” Although the name is now commonly pronounced “Loss An-je-les,” its original Spanish pronunciation is “Loce Ahng-hail-ais.” Non-Spanish speaking Angelenos seemed to prefer the harder-sounding anglicized version. During the 1920s and 1930s, the Los Angeles Times vigorously defended the Spanish pronunciation and printed directly below its editorial page masthead, “LOS ANGELES (Loce Ahng hail ais).” When the U.S. Geographic Board recognized the anglicized version in 1934, the Times was outraged, declaring that the pronunciation made the city “sound like some brand of fruit preserve.” The newspaper further suggested that Easterners plotted to deprive the West Coast of its softer-sounding Spanish names, proposing that California would next have to tolerate such place names as "Sandy Ego," "San Joce," and "San Jokkin." In all fairness, however, the Times did not express the same distain for the prevalent pronunciation of San Pedro as “San Pee-dro” rather than the Spanish “San Pey-dro.”
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top