Thursday, September 4, 2008

Twanging!

I find it so annoying when our entertainers and athletes adopt a surrogate accent and try to speak as if they were raised in the U. S. of A. I’ve listened through several bone-chilling interviews where our local accent was mangled by my fellow countrymen. I know I can’t be the only one who cringes in fear when the overseas media interviews our local celebrities. Is it really so difficult to set the patois to stun and speak legibly without resorting to twanging? Is it just Jamaicans, or do other islanders misplace their accents mere days after they land in the US?

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

I knew I couldn't be the only one who was noticing this!!
And what's more 'entertaining' is that a certain fast athlete from Jamaica wasn't even in the US when he adopted the US accent. He was all the way in CHINA!!

Jdid said...

i think they do that to avoid the subtitles and the huh whats?

its not just the patois that gets north americans its also the accent.

that doesnt mean i agree with it but i think thats the rational behind some of these faux yankee mixup accents

Gussie said...

Plausible. I must admit, I never took the time to think about possible reasons for them talking all that yankee. I guess I’m guilty of assuming that it had something to do with "our" accent not being good enough.

Still, I wish they would just quit it, let the networks and media houses pay for the captions.

Stunner said...

"Hey maine, I knows what youall talking bout, yow!" Even the fastest man Bolt was speedy at catching an accent in his interview.

LL said...

Oh so TRUE Gussie! I was embarrassed for our amazing athletes! The interviews were so difficult to listen to! Some of our top DJs do it too but I just figured they spend so much time in the US, perhaps that's what they need to do in order to be understood. That coupled with the desire to be "Americanized". Who knows! Its really annoying tho!

Goat Mouth said...

Well, the fact of the matter is that many of these DJs, athletes and underpriviliged others learn their English from American/cable TV! that's why they twang--

if we're embarrassed by this we should ensure that our primary school system and all the schools poor people pickney go to have the best English teachers. English isn't taught in schools here, it is simply assumed that kids know it. but if you're not middle class or upper class you're not necessarily born knowing english. it has to be learnt--

kadia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freakytype said...

Look man - I've been living in New York for 12 years now, and I speak proper standard English with no twang. I grew up in Kingston, attended Holy Childhood, including the boarding school there. I went to all Catholic schools from kindergarten and I'm also a 70s baby.

I can understand how Jamaicans feel about "ceBrelities" twanging an shit, but the reality is that the twang is the best HEnglish some of these celebrities know and they have to pull off an interview by impressing Americans with their "knowledge".

They learned English from American TV. It's a shame in some sense but its a truer picture of the education and political system in Jamaica.

Some of it is directly linked to the "bad man culcha" - yuh tink yuh get any rispec from badman if yuh naah taalk like dem? If you speak properly they might tink seh yuh a battyman an chop yuh up. I'm just saying ... that's how it bees or that's how I see it.

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