Friday, September 26, 2008

Harry Potter and the Accent of English

Anyone can tell you the often quoted “Would you like a cup of tea?” is the timeless favorite line for anyone attempting a fake English accent. Or is that British accent? Hmm.

Anyway, it’s shocking how many Americans just love a good proper English lilt. I know growing up I wanted a girl that sounded like a London girl to be my wife. I often hear girls talk about how great guys from London or Manchester sound. It seems a guy with a great Brit accent automatically starts on the 1-10 hottie scale at level 6 before you even get a look at ‘em.

The popularity of Harry Potter films have altered the course of American kids attempts at sounding like they’re from the old country. Replacing the polite offer of a fine early gray steaming from the kettle are the simple words “Harry, ” or “Hermione.” Just short enough to allow any kid to sound faintly authentic.

Our youngest, R, is often attempting to sound like a Brit. She tried out her new phrase on the family and didn’t understand why we all cracked up:

“Hello, my name is R and I’m from British.”