Monday, September 15, 2014

Reader Question for the Community: The 'Preppy' Accent

Reader Question for the Community:

How can one learn the beautiful “accent” used by William F Buckley, George Plimpton and others? Is there a Berlitz school of preppy accents? 

It is discouraging to listen to some American English these days where it seems every second word is “um”, “like”, “guess”, etc.  Many years ago, I sat on a park bench in Nantucket harbor; the person next to me on the bench happened to be Mr Plimpton, and I remember listening to his wonderful pronunciation, language melody and syntax… Yo, Bro, way to go...

Here are a few of the clips presented in the comments section:

Annon: "This is a short clip from YouTube of two genuine Boston 'Brahmins' having a conversation about the accent (and Dickens!) at the Boston Atheneum."

David P: "Fr. George Rutler... is a former Anglican and is Dartmouth educated. I tried to find a clip that was not too overtly religious but was not successful. This short You Tube video, however, provides an excellent example of the 'prep' accent":

Cranky Yankee: "When I first heard the two gentlemen at the Athenaeum, I thought of 'Bert and I'":

Benjamin: "Speaking of learned and affected "preppy" accents, I can't imagine that anyone will surpass the Reverend Peter Gomes. Sadly, my generation was the last to have the opportunity to appreciate his humor and person in the flesh. His accent was neither inherited nor authentic, but it fit his personality perfectly."

Max: "David Rockefeller has the most authentic and unpretentious preppy accent."