Date: Wed, 2 Mar 1994 12:49:39 EST
From: Wayne Glowka wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MAIL.GAC.PEACHNET.EDU
Subject: Re: attitude & prescription
Re Tim Frazer's query about singers and the national anthem.
Do we have American stage speech? Is it just a matter of drama coaches
telling actors to enunciate /t/ etc., or is there a lectal dimension that
has some systematic features? These may be rhetorical questions.
Anecdotal Observation from Wayne Glowka: I have been in a number of
plays--all with the same director. My problems with pronunciation came not
from the director, but from the music director. Again, I always had to
deal with the same one, but she had a thing about reduced vowels. My /[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]/
(schwa) had to be replaced with her /E/ (open e). I kept my mouth shut
about variation. Music directors don't negotiate.
I was once a phonetics consultant for _My Fair Lady_. I brought in a
Trudgill tape and handouts for RP and Cockney. One gentleman in the
cast--with a very loud voice--refused to follow the pronunciations for
Cockney. He purposely followed the pronunciation that he heard on his
record of the show and told me that he was doing so because people wouldn't
understand that he was speaking Cockney if he followed the suggestions of
linguists. Thus, there may be set dialect standards that people teach.
People around here have a hard time watching the CBS _In the Heat of the
Night_. The accents are horrible. The accents in _Gone with the Wind_--a
movie that all real people here forgive--make the hair on my back stand up.
Honest local accents are heard on locally made advertisements:
[bU gzIn+yo+hA[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]s#w[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]i+gIt[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]m+A[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]t+[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]t+bU g+hA[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]s] (where [U ] is a fronted
horse-U)--"Bugs in your house? We get them out at Bug House." But then
these accents embarrass the locals. Don't even ask me about Leckie's
Income Tax or Tommy's Retreads.