Foreign Accents

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DawnT
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2011/07/09 21:49:41 (permalink)

Foreign Accents

You can't turn on a radio or the television without being bombarded with commercials or television shows without hearing English spoken with a foreign accent by either the commerical pitchman or principals of the television presentation. Madison avenue employs some very bright people that folks like Bernays, Ivy Lee, and McLuhan would be proud of. Apparently their lead of featuring English spoken by foreign speakers for the American advertising market has been followed by the entertainment industry. Somehow a product pitched in an non-native American accent is more exotic,desirable,or has an international appeal. In recent years, just about every tv show has someone, usually a British,Australian, or someone from the British Isles speaking American English in a native brouge. Does that somehow confer a majestic or magnific air to an otherwise pedestrian event? I don't see programming using speakers from the deep south unless they are trying to convey the opposite effect. Why does a cosmetic or fashion pitched by a native French model speaking heavily accented and almost incomprehensible English presented with abstract or avant- garde imagery somehow give an alluring and chic appeal that otherwise would have not if an American model presented it?
 
Which gives pause for a thought. Does programming in other countries use native American speakers to give a sense of superiority to thier products or events? Would the British respond better to an American host speaking in Hollywood neutral English? Would those living in OZ rather someone like Jeff Foxworthy or Dolly Parton hosting a variety show? How about an American murdering the French language on a TV show or commercial in France? Could one immagine a voice like Peggy Hill speaking "Espanole" as she calls it pitching a product in Latin America giving it a US appeal?  Would speakers in those countries be similarly impressed?
 
Don't think so.
 
So why do the powers that be seem to think that we are?
Has it been ingrained in us that somehow we're inferior to the international community at a subconsious level?
 
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