Date: Wed, 3 Aug 1994 22:59:50 -0500


Subject: Re: Forrest Gump

David Johns observed Martin Sheen's difficulty in doing Gen. Lee's accent

for "Gettysburg," and the difficulty of getting accents right.

Mike Picone talked about the larger problems in the

motion picture industry.

I agree with David that maybe it's too much to expect for non[native

speakers to get it exactly right. But I do not think much of an effort

is made. I have a lot of respect for Martin Sheen as an actor and a

human being; I can't help thinking that he might have done better if the

director had made that a bigger part of the the role.

Which gets me to Mike's point. Yes, there is a lot of arrogance in the

movie/TV industries. And I suppose it ticks me off as a professional

linguist/dialectologist that a lot of what we know gets ignored by the

people who produce this stuff. And I supose part of being ticked off has

sg. to do with the failure of the culture at large to take what we know

about language variation very seriously. The press invariably reports on

any research in dialectology--even the appearance of a humongous project

like DARE--very humorously, with a lot of jokes. That's a bummer sometimes.

Tim Frazer