Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama’s act: the accent
Not to be petty but this got my amateur Henry Higgins’ attention. Some people have very nice acquired or mixed accents that don’t sound phoney because they’re not (but sometimes are accused of being put on). But isn’t being caught faking an accent something usually ridiculed or does he get a free pass because he’s good at it (I agree with Rod Dreher that it helps his speeches) and looks black?

When I found this at Dreher’s yesterday I remembered a word I’d seen Steve Sailer use: ‘black(c)cent’, which doesn’t mean a black American accent but a nicer version of ‘wigger’, for a white person putting on a black accent to sound fashionable. Which is exactly what Mr O is doing. (Like Tony Blair’s Mockney and for a similar political advantage.)

Today he usually has the speech of educated Northern American blacks: just a touch of a unique kind of Southern accent.

That he not only adjusts it for different audiences/code-switches as people do with their real accents but has been recorded turning it on and off (that is, only a few years ago speaking in his ‘white’ real voice) — and sometimes really ‘blacks it up’ going fully Southern as he did to a convention of black clergy — shows it’s not acquired but... an act.

I understand that in the East End of London Cockney is giving way to a kind of Jamaican accent among English-born whites... that is real.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment