Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Own Speech Class

I made the decision a few months ago to learn to speak better.  I mumble, have speech fillers, and sometimes even sound a bit Canadian, so I'm told (not that Canadian is bad, it's just an odd thing to be told).  What I want to do is obtain a Trans-Atlantic (aka Mid-Atlantic) Accent.

What is a Trans-Atlantic Accent?
This is that "old-timey" accent that people were taught up until the 1950s in school.  When people impersonate Judy Garland, they tend to do an extreme trans-Atlantic accent.  It's not a regional accent, despite the name of it.  It's learned which means that it's not a native accent like you might encounter in England, Texas, or Wisconsin.

I went to Amazon and found a copy of Edith Skinner's "Speak With Distinction".  You can find it HERE for roughly $25 (give or take).  This seems to be the go-to book for learning the Trans-Atlantic Accent.  It's become associated with theatrical speech.

Some Quick Tidbits on the T-A Accent:

  • Vase is pronounced "vah-ss", not "vay-ss"
  • Writer is pronounced "wr-I-Tah", not "wry-der" or "wr-I-ter"
  • "T" is often hit hard, while "R" is left soft.
  • It's a mix of American and English accents

When it comes to self-schooling, I guess I have movies, the Skinner book, and just self-motivation to rely on.  If anyone wants to learn the accent with me, let me know.  It would be so helpful to have others doing this with me.

What do you think?  Bring it back or leave it?  Leave your thoughts, questions, etc on the Trans-Atlantic Accent, learning it, and anything else.

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