Non Regional Diction

I heard this just now; Non Regional Diction. It was in the context of a woman trying to break into the man’s world of TV news in the 70’s. It was something she had to practice.

It reminded me of a memory, and a story.

When I ws growing up, the dominant foreign culture around me was British. Of the people my family socialized with, the accent I heard most was English. I enjoyed Monty Python, and The Goodies and others. I could immitate it well.

Where I lived, I used to hear other accents on TV or in movies and think… how is it possible that I live where nobody has accent. How is it that everyone else did, but my town was “normal”.

I used Television and the dictionary as my guide. I sounded like the people on TV, except of course when the TV character had an accent, but that goes without saying. I could identify Boston, New York, Southern, Texan, Carebean and English accents. I could recognise Spanish and French and Russion accents, but when I talked, I sounded accent-less. The way the dictionary meant the words to sound.

I never understood it when Americans told me Canadians said “Aboot” because I always said About. I said it like the TV.

Today, at 43 I understand a little more. I do have an accent on some words, but I grew up with more TV than any other verbal influence, and for the most part, TV has developed a non-regional dialect.

Things that go without saying, should be said more often.



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One thought on “Non Regional Diction

  1. hi jeff
    you were watching ‘anchorman’, weren’t you?

    i think about accent a lot. even have a blog with the subtitle: ‘endeavoring to speak life with a heavenly accent’…

    yep, that’s right. can’t hide it now- i’m a pastor in canada.

    anyway, as i read your blog i noted not only the anchorman reference (in fact, i had googled ‘non-regional diction’ to copy and paste a bit of the script to the movie to an email i was writing someone and arrived at your blog) but also the monty python thing and the fact that we’re the same age.

    just thought i’d say hi…
    and encourage you to keep writing.

    “it’s not a balloon- it’s an airship!”

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