Sexy Accents?

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Sexy Accents?

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:01 pm UTC

I always thought I had a pretty neutral American accent, sometimes I'd even argue I had no accent. I've come resigned to the fact that you can tell I'm from the upper midwest (something to do with the northern cities vowel shift: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_cities_vowel_shift Yup, I'm from (near) Detroit). While I've always wanted to say I don't have an accent, I do think some are awesome!

I love most British, Australian, and Irish accents. Even German can be pretty sexy.

The accents that I'm not thrilled with is the American southern accent. For some reason it is so hard to take people who talk with that accent seriously. Also, they seriously need to talk faster. I can comprehend more than one word in a second. My guess is that I'm just conditioned from movies and stuff that a southern accent = unintelligent, which I know it doesn't.

Also, a French accent just sounds pompous to me.

What accents do you like, and what ones are you not so fond of? Why do you think you like/dislike those?

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:07 pm UTC

I'm particularly fond of the Scrubs episode wherein Collin Farrel seduces everyone (everyone) with his gorgeous eyes and velvety brogue. Rather than be smitten by a particular inflection however, I'm more drawn to curious turns of phrase that derive from non-native speakers struggling with the weirdness that is English. I forget the nationality, but a dude once yelled at me to "Throw me down the stairs my shoes", which was pretty cool.

In NZ, my girlfriend and I cracked up everytime the radio announcer pronounced 'debut' as 'day-boo' (rather than 'day-bue')
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Oregonaut » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

Had a Ukrainian lady seduce me once. Granted, the fact that she was pumping out pheromones like nobodies business may have helped, but I thought the way she was speaking was quite sexy.

Least sexy accent: Cantonese.

Seriously, I had a lady attempt to seduce me (in Cantonese) and it was like listening to nails on a chalkboard accompanied by the soothing sounds of a raging car alarm shoved up the tailpipe of a howling cat being thrown in a bagpipe and shoved in a garbage disposal.

I didn't like it.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Mr. Mack » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:33 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:The accents that I'm not thrilled with is the American southern accent. For some reason it is so hard to take people who talk with that accent seriously.

Well screw you too, yankee.

No, I'm kidding. Your mistake is that you think the "southern accent" you hear on TV actually exists. Having lived in Georgia my entire life, including some very small towns, I've only heard the TV version of a southern accent three times. Everyone else is much closer to a neutral American accent.
From what people who travel a lot have told me, I'm led to believe that most of the accents people speak with on TV are completely bunk. Usually resting somewhere between exaggerated and stereotypical.

I've always thought that New Zealanders have a pretty cool accent. I don't know that I'd call it a sexy accent per se, but I think it sounds cool.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:09 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:I always thought I had a pretty neutral American accent, sometimes I'd even argue I had no accent. I've come resigned to the fact that you can tell I'm from the upper midwest (something to do with the northern cities vowel shift: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_cities_vowel_shift Yup, I'm from (near) Detroit). While I've always wanted to say I don't have an accent, I do think some are awesome!

I love most British, Australian, and Irish accents. Even German can be pretty sexy.

The accents that I'm not thrilled with is the American southern accent. For some reason it is so hard to take people who talk with that accent seriously. Also, they seriously need to talk faster. I can comprehend more than one word in a second. My guess is that I'm just conditioned from movies and stuff that a southern accent = unintelligent, which I know it doesn't.

Also, a French accent just sounds pompous to me.

What accents do you like, and what ones are you not so fond of? Why do you think you like/dislike those?


What do you mean by a British accent? We have a ton of them here (far more than the equivalent area of the US). Rant aside, I'm going to assume you mean RP as that's what (in my experience) Americans generally mean when they talk about a "British" accent (either that or cockney). Also, Ireland is part of the British Isles so arguably it's a British accent too.

I must say I agree though with Southern US accents sounding 'stupid' to me in general and I also dislike French accents albeit for a different reason, I don't like nasal vowels I think, and the accent just sounds, well, French.

Other than that, I don't really find any accent sexy although I do find some annoying (southern US (that said, my experience of it is almost entirely from TV), French, Oz amongst others).

Oregonaut wrote:Least sexy accent: Cantonese.


Really? I quite like Chinese accents in general (and, living in the UK where most of the Chinese population speaks Cantonese) that's mainly based on Cantonese. I don't really think of it as a sexy accent but I think it's quite 'pretty' (I also think Castillian, Catalan, Italian and Russian (which I always think sounds very much like Italian) sound 'pretty' albeit for different reasons).
Last edited by eSOANEM on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:37 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Oregonaut » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:18 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Oregonaut wrote:Least sexy accent: Cantonese.

Really? I quite like Chinese accents in general (and, living in the UK where most of the Chinese population speaks Cantonese) that's mainly based on Cantonese. I don't really think of it as a sexy accent but I think it's quite 'pretty' (I also think Castillian, Catelan, Italian and Russian (which I always think sounds very much like Italian) sound 'pretty' albeit for different reasons).


To each their own, mes ami. Having studied both Cantonese and Mandarin, and being fairly fluent in each, I can tell you that I am not biased against Chinese ladies, only their whining "sexy" accent.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:02 pm UTC

Mr. Mack wrote:
KestrelLowing wrote:The accents that I'm not thrilled with is the American southern accent. For some reason it is so hard to take people who talk with that accent seriously.

Well screw you too, yankee.

No, I'm kidding. Your mistake is that you think the "southern accent" you hear on TV actually exists. Having lived in Georgia my entire life, including some very small towns, I've only heard the TV version of a southern accent three times. Everyone else is much closer to a neutral American accent.
From what people who travel a lot have told me, I'm led to believe that most of the accents people speak with on TV are completely bunk. Usually resting somewhere between exaggerated and stereotypical.

I've always thought that New Zealanders have a pretty cool accent. I don't know that I'd call it a sexy accent per se, but I think it sounds cool.


Sorry!

I actually have traveled down south a fair amount - granted that most people I met did not have the "southern accent", some did, and it was not as bad as in movies and such, but I still wasn't particularly thrilled by it. One of my friends moved to Alabama a couple years ago (she needed a teaching job - there are none up here) and I saw her about a year ago. She had already aquired a southern accent, and it was so hard to remember that she was the same person I knew before, because she sounded rather... unintelligent.

Another accent that sounds unintelligent to me is the Yooper accent (upper peninsula of Michigan) which is basically a Minnesotan accent. However, as with any accent, if you talk to someone enough, it kind of fades.

eSOANEM wrote:What do you mean by a British accent? We have a ton of them here (far more than the equivalent area of the US). Rant aside, I'm going to assume you mean RP as that's what (in my experience) Americans generally mean when they talk about a "British" accent (either that or cockney). Also, Ireland is part of the British Isles so arguably it's a British accent too.


RP is what comes to mind, and I'm not a huge fan of cockney. Still, anyone I've met from Britain had an excellent accent, and I don't think they all spoke RP. I wasn't sure if Irish was considered British or not. It's kind of confusing because part of it isn't in the UK.

Oooh, also I totally forgot about the awesome African accents. I think it's Nigerian that sounds really cool. Also Afrikaans is pretty neat too. Really, most African accents are amazing, and that accent sounds awesome when singing. African accents seem to actually stick around when singing, unlike British and such. (That was my main argument for saying I didn’t have an accent – everyone sounded like me when they sang.)

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby yuyuyami » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:09 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I must say I agree though with Southern US accents sounding 'stupid' to me in general and I also dislike French accents albeit for a different reason, I don't like nasal vowels I think, and the accent just sounds, well, French.


That's because the stereotypical Southern accent IS stupid. In most cases, only people who are uneducated or are too lazy to speak in an easily understood and respectable manner speak like that in the South. More typically, our accent is minimal, with only a couple vowels deviating from what people recognize as "accent-less" in the US.

Don't get me wrong, most of us can switch to the stereotypical accent at will (usually for humor) and occasionally we'll slip and say a word in an embarrassing way, but it's not typical.

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby brakos82 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:25 pm UTC

yuyuyami wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:I must say I agree though with Southern US accents sounding 'stupid' to me in general and I also dislike French accents albeit for a different reason, I don't like nasal vowels I think, and the accent just sounds, well, French.


That's because the stereotypical Southern accent IS stupid. In most cases, only people who are uneducated or are too lazy to speak in an easily understood and respectable manner speak like that in the South. More typically, our accent is minimal, with only a couple vowels deviating from what people recognize as "accent-less" in the US.

Don't get me wrong, most of us can switch to the stereotypical accent at will (usually for humor) and occasionally we'll slip and say a word in an embarrassing way, but it's not typical.


The one that I'm really guilty of is pronouncing "yours" and "years" like "yirrs". And "y'all", but I've even caught yankees saying that. Although I've noticed that, even though it's not an actual accent, northerners and southerners just say some things different. My girlfriend got on my case (she's from Jersey) once about saying "put the water on to boil", and she replied "you mean boil some water?" Sounds right to me.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:46 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:What do you mean by a British accent? We have a ton of them here (far more than the equivalent area of the US). Rant aside, I'm going to assume you mean RP as that's what (in my experience) Americans generally mean when they talk about a "British" accent (either that or cockney). Also, Ireland is part of the British Isles so arguably it's a British accent too.


RP is what comes to mind, and I'm not a huge fan of cockney. Still, anyone I've met from Britain had an excellent accent, and I don't think they all spoke RP. I wasn't sure if Irish was considered British or not. It's kind of confusing because part of it isn't in the UK.

Oooh, also I totally forgot about the awesome African accents. I think it's Nigerian that sounds really cool. Also Afrikaans is pretty neat too. Really, most African accents are amazing, and that accent sounds awesome when singing. African accents seem to actually stick around when singing, unlike British and such. (That was my main argument for saying I didn’t have an accent – everyone sounded like me when they sang.)


I wasn't so much ranting at you, but at American society as whole. As for Irish being a British accent, I wouldn't say it was to an Irishman (or to most people actually) I was just saying that depending on which 'Britain' you use it comes into it (if you use Great Britain it doesn't, but then neither would Manx or far Scottish Islands and if you use the UKoGBaNI then Northern Irish accents would be included but not Southern Irish), basically Britain and all its derivatives are very ambiguous terms, I generally try to specify which I mean.

brakos82 wrote:
yuyuyami wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:I must say I agree though with Southern US accents sounding 'stupid' to me in general and I also dislike French accents albeit for a different reason, I don't like nasal vowels I think, and the accent just sounds, well, French.


That's because the stereotypical Southern accent IS stupid. In most cases, only people who are uneducated or are too lazy to speak in an easily understood and respectable manner speak like that in the South. More typically, our accent is minimal, with only a couple vowels deviating from what people recognize as "accent-less" in the US.

Don't get me wrong, most of us can switch to the stereotypical accent at will (usually for humor) and occasionally we'll slip and say a word in an embarrassing way, but it's not typical.


The one that I'm really guilty of is pronouncing "yours" and "years" like "yirrs". And "y'all", but I've even caught yankees saying that. Although I've noticed that, even though it's not an actual accent, northerners and southerners just say some things different. My girlfriend got on my case (she's from Jersey) once about saying "put the water on to boil", and she replied "you mean boil some water?" Sounds right to me.


@yuyumami, hence the comment that almost all of my experience of it is from TV, I'm certain that, like the stereotype of all Americans being fat slobs who can't find Europe on a map is almost completely false except in a few cases. Unfortunately, as regards Southern accents, my only experience with real people (as in not TV/film characters) has been with those rare exceptions.

@brakos, as a BrE speaker, both seem reasonable although the way you said it I'd normally only use with a different noun e.g. putting the kettle, rice, pasta, veg on to boil.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:57 pm UTC

Colloquial British & Irish accents are pretty sexy, not so much the upper-class RP type dialects.
Arabic accents for men, and Japanese accents for women are both very charming.
I really love Icelandic accents... weird, I know.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby orinjuse » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:47 am UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:...sometimes I'd even argue I had no accent.


It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent. Of course you do - you have an American accent. Accents don't just happen to 'forners'. You're not some kind of sacred baseline.

But thanks for the complement of Australian accents.

I like a lot of accents, but one of my favourite is upper-class English accents. Whatever accent Nigella Lawson has (what do they call that, a Highgate accent?) is damn easy to listen to.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby The EGE » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:15 am UTC

The British voices in "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". Apparently a bunch of teenagers from Islington Green School. I don't know what it is about those particular accents, but I love them.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:42 am UTC

orinjuse wrote:
KestrelLowing wrote:...sometimes I'd even argue I had no accent.


It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent. Of course you do - you have an American accent. Accents don't just happen to 'forners'. You're not some kind of sacred baseline.

But thanks for the complement of Australian accents.

I like a lot of accents, but one of my favourite is upper-class English accents. Whatever accent Nigella Lawson has (what do they call that, a Highgate accent?) is damn easy to listen to.


I'm from the Pacific Northwest and I thought I didn't have an accent...
then I found out about the "cot-caught merger" and realized I was wrong.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby brakos82 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:56 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
brakos82 wrote:
yuyuyami wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:I must say I agree though with Southern US accents sounding 'stupid' to me in general and I also dislike French accents albeit for a different reason, I don't like nasal vowels I think, and the accent just sounds, well, French.


That's because the stereotypical Southern accent IS stupid. In most cases, only people who are uneducated or are too lazy to speak in an easily understood and respectable manner speak like that in the South. More typically, our accent is minimal, with only a couple vowels deviating from what people recognize as "accent-less" in the US.

Don't get me wrong, most of us can switch to the stereotypical accent at will (usually for humor) and occasionally we'll slip and say a word in an embarrassing way, but it's not typical.


The one that I'm really guilty of is pronouncing "yours" and "years" like "yirrs". And "y'all", but I've even caught yankees saying that. Although I've noticed that, even though it's not an actual accent, northerners and southerners just say some things different. My girlfriend got on my case (she's from Jersey) once about saying "put the water on to boil", and she replied "you mean boil some water?" Sounds right to me.


@brakos, as a BrE speaker, both seem reasonable although the way you said it I'd normally only use with a different noun e.g. putting the kettle, rice, pasta, veg on to boil.


We also have "Southernisms"... it's usually because we're actually talking too fast for our own good and start mixing words in the wrong order, and some of them actually make sense and stick.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby waltwhitmanheadedbat » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:38 am UTC

When I curse, am very tired, or am speaking passionately, my Buffalonian (Northern Cities) accent comes out. I tend to overstress my t's, d's, and sometimes s'es, and my way of speaking in general could be called painfully pronounced.

I'm told I have a very dynamic way of speaking, so I'd have to say: mine. :)

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby RabbitWho » Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

The only accents i don't find sexy are ones that I associate with people who I don't like. If I met someone who wasn't a complete gobshite and had that accent I'd start to like it. (slowly).

If you think you don't have an accent then live abroad and then go home. I thought for ages me and my friends had very mild accents or none at all.. then I went abroad and when I came home they all sounded like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i76bKc8hysk


Most sexy accent.. Irish.. Russian.. Scottish... Welsh...

It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent


Every single native speaker of every language has thought this about themselves at some point. Don't blame Americans!

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:53 am UTC

RabbitWho wrote:
It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent


Every single native speaker of every language has thought this about themselves at some point. Don't blame Americans!


The rabbit speaks the truth, I'd go even further though, I think almost everyone still thinks of themselves as having a neutral accent if they know it's not the case.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby orinjuse » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:58 pm UTC

RabbitWho wrote:
It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent


Every single native speaker of every language has thought this about themselves at some point. Don't blame Americans!


Maybe in your experience, but apart from you just now I've only ever heard Americans say they didn't have an accent. Nobody else seems to be insular and culturally arrogant enough to think such a stupid thing, or at least to admit to it. I'm definitely not blaming it on Americans in general - American friends of mine have even said saying something like that is idiotic, and I'm sure most Americans aren't that daft.

Unless you've never heard any other accents, which is nigh on impossible these days, how could you possibly think you didn't have an accent at all? You'd have to be mute to not have an accent.

Thinking you have an easy to understand accent is different - that's all a matter of perspective, experience, etc. But no accent? How would you come to that conclusion?
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:37 pm UTC

orinjuse wrote:How would you come to that conclusion?


I used to think I had no accent because I spoke with RP which is pretty much constant throughout the UK whereas regional accents vary, at the time I took this universality to mean that it must be the default/proper/blank accent and therefore to speak with it was to speak with no accent.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby orinjuse » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:23 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
orinjuse wrote:How would you come to that conclusion?


I used to think I had no accent because I spoke with RP which is pretty much constant throughout the UK whereas regional accents vary, at the time I took this universality to mean that it must be the default/proper/blank accent and therefore to speak with it was to speak with no accent.


How old were you when you thought that?
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby RabbitWho » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:54 am UTC

orinjuse wrote:
RabbitWho wrote:
It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent


Every single native speaker of every language has thought this about themselves at some point. Don't blame Americans!

Nobody else seems to be insular and culturally arrogant enough to think such a stupid thing, or at least to admit to it



I just... I mean... How...
That was such a rude, ignorant, inconsiderate, nasty and amazingly blind thing to say.
What can I say? I could ask who is the culturally arrogant one?

How would you come to that conclusion? [that you don't have an accent]


It's not obvious? You can't hear your own accent, you are only aware of accents in ways in which they differ from yours. Therefore it's natural to think you don't have an accent until something forces you to reconsider. Like the world being flat.

You say "maybe in your experience". You illustrated my point. In your experience you only met Americans who thought they didn't have accents, so you assumed it was American thing.. that's natural. What makes you particularly special is that when you were told (by people from around the world) that this is universal you completely ignored it because you're so determined to feel superior to Americans.

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:24 am UTC

orinjuse wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
orinjuse wrote:How would you come to that conclusion?


I used to think I had no accent because I spoke with RP which is pretty much constant throughout the UK whereas regional accents vary, at the time I took this universality to mean that it must be the default/proper/blank accent and therefore to speak with it was to speak with no accent.


How old were you when you thought that?


I was at primary school at the time, not sure how old, but 10 at most.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby The Pigeons' Rule » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:29 am UTC

I love Lost's Claire's Aussy accent. I don't know if sexy is the word, but I do enjoy listening to her.

Also, I think it may be hard for a person to put their finger on what constitutes their accent...
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby orinjuse » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:23 am UTC

RabbitWho wrote:
orinjuse wrote:
RabbitWho wrote:
It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent


Every single native speaker of every language has thought this about themselves at some point. Don't blame Americans!

Nobody else seems to be insular and culturally arrogant enough to think such a stupid thing, or at least to admit to it



I just... I mean... How...
That was such a rude, ignorant, inconsiderate, nasty and amazingly blind thing to say.
What can I say? I could ask who is the culturally arrogant one?


There are many, many nice Americans who are well aware of the world outside their own country, but there is undeniably a subset of Americans who are oblivious to the rest of the world. From what I understand, it's quite easy in the US to have very little contact with other cultures. There are idiots in every country, but in most of them they at least have to watch foreign TV now and then.

Please don't take me for some kind of American-hating idiot, but also please don't be naïve.

How would you come to that conclusion? [that you don't have an accent]


It's not obvious? You can't hear your own accent, you are only aware of accents in ways in which they differ from yours. Therefore it's natural to think you don't have an accent until something forces you to reconsider. Like the world being flat.

You say "maybe in your experience". You illustrated my point. In your experience you only met Americans who thought they didn't have accents, so you assumed it was American thing.. that's natural. What makes you particularly special is that when you were told (by people from around the world) that this is universal you completely ignored it because you're so determined to feel superior to Americans.


I've met lots of Americans. I travel widely, and lots of Americans come to Australia (where I'm from). I've met many many people from other cultures. The only people I've ever heard say they didn't have an accent were Americans, although I admit they were all online. I guess if you travel, you rapidly lose such a silly idea.

I didn't get told by 'people from all around the world' - I was told by two Brits, which isn't a figure that'll make any statisticians start rubbing their chins thoughtfully. I also don't 'feel superior to Americans', but if you're more comfortable talking to a strawman than a person you don't actually know anything about, please don't let me interrupt.

I can understand your argument if you're 10, like eSOANEM was. But if you're supposedly a rational, thinking adult, it seems to me like a totally unreasonable conclusion, especially if you live in a multicultural society as you do.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

orinjuse wrote:Thinking you have an easy to understand accent is different - that's all a matter of perspective, experience, etc. But no accent? How would you come to that conclusion?


The reason I thought/think that the 'neutral American accent' is the English without an accent is because everyone sounds like that when they sing. Of course there are some people who still hang onto their accent when singing, but in general, it sounds like the standard American accent.

For example, my mother really enjoys listening to Celtic Women - a group of (mostly) Irish women who sing classical and folk music. They way they speak sounds exactly like the way I talk.

Of course this could simply be due to the fact that everyone is trained to sing that way, but I think it's quite universal (except when someone cannot pronounce a certain sound, like "th". That can be heard when singing.)

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Argency » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:30 pm UTC

I think both Orinjuse and KestrelLowing are wrong.

Orinjuse: you ARE hating on Americans - you've only got a couple of data points to support your hypothesis that its easy to be stupid in America. You need to meet way more people who think they're accentless and have them ALL be American before you could justify that.

And KestrelLowing: Seriously? Celtic singers sound like neutral American? Way to undermine what I just said to Orinjuse about not having enough data points... Listen to the Pogues, or the Cranberries. They've clearly got really strong Irish accents. Listen to Missy Higgins or the Waifs or the Herd or the Hilltop Hoods (Australian). Or the Proclaimers (Scottish). The only reason most musicians these days sound neutral American is because America dominates the market and its hard to get signed unless you put on an American accent, or unless part of your act is playing up your nationality, in which case you limit your audience. Most internationally famous musicians take lessons in supressing their native accent.

Anyway, back on topic I think pretty much all foreign accents are sexy, as long as the accented person also has a nice voice in general. I've never heard an accent I didn't like. I've got this pet theory that an accent is a strong indicator that your conversational partner is very genetically different to you and is therefore a good mate, and that that's why accents are sexy. Then again, maybe the only reason I like most accents is because I think that...
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Kizyr » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:01 pm UTC

Mr. Mack wrote:No, I'm kidding. Your mistake is that you think the "southern accent" you hear on TV actually exists. Having lived in Georgia my entire life, including some very small towns, I've only heard the TV version of a southern accent three times. Everyone else is much closer to a neutral American accent.

KestrelLowing wrote:I actually have traveled down south a fair amount - granted that most people I met did not have the "southern accent", some did, and it was not as bad as in movies and such, but I still wasn't particularly thrilled by it. ... She had already aquired a southern accent, and it was so hard to remember that she was the same person I knew before, because she sounded rather... unintelligent.

This is the main reason that I learned to suppress my southern accent. I got tired of people saying I was mumbling and assuming I was stupid.

I moved up to DC from Nashville for college in 2001, and I've lived here ever since. I started suppressing the accent and speaking with a more neutral American accent (and mind you, my original accent, like Mr. Mack said, was rather mild anyhow) 'cause I found I was more easily understood that way. I'm so used to it by now that I have to drop my guard to slip back into my original accent, so it only comes out if, say, I'm under anesthetic or extremely tired. Though I'll still use y'all/ain't more occasionally.

Southern accents aren't slow so much as they tend to push words together (it's rather like Chicano and Mexican Spanish with less anunciation). They've just been lumped into a particular unfortunate stereotype. I change around my accent just to be understood, since my purpose is to communicate an idea, not to represent a particular region or be some paragon of grammatical correctness.

Speaking of stereotypes, I tend not to follow them too much, so very very few accents are actually "sexy" to me. The more you get used to something, the less "sexy" it sounds. I liked a Boston accent once only because at the time I rather liked this one cute girl who was from Boston. I used to really like English accents (well, RP mostly, not so much, say, Cockney, Lancashire, Liverpool, etc.) until I got used to hearing them; now they just seem normal. I rather do like Australian accents, but admittedly they're tougher to understand for me. I hardly ever even notice Indian/Bangladeshi accents, because I grew up hearing them all the time.

I suppose it's all a matter of familarity. Stuff becomes a lot less "sexy" when you've heard it so much that it sounds normal. KF
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:41 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:everyone sounds like that when they sing.


Not at all in my experience. Certainly not here in the UK anyway. A few people do, but that's normally because they're trying to aim for an American style in the vocals (in fact the only person I know who sounds American when he sings is a singer/songwriter so falls into the trap Argency mentioned), most of the time, when most English people (who don't normally speak with the following features) sing you don't get hard rs, you get short os etc. and so they still sound very much English.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby orinjuse » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:55 pm UTC

Argency wrote:I think both Orinjuse and KestrelLowing are wrong.

Orinjuse: you ARE hating on Americans - you've only got a couple of data points to support your hypothesis that its easy to be stupid in America. You need to meet way more people who think they're accentless and have them ALL be American before you could justify that.


A) Criticism does not equal 'hating on'. There are many aspects of American culture and people that I like - ignorance about the rest of the world is not one of them.
B) You're right, it's probably unfair of me to make such a sweeping generalisation. I got riled up by what I perceived as unthinking arrogance in the OP, this opinion that Americans speak the 'correct' way and everyone else is somehow aberrant. It's an attitude that annoys me greatly.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby WastedCharlie » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:37 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Seriously, I had a lady attempt to seduce me (in Cantonese) and it was like listening to nails on a chalkboard accompanied by the soothing sounds of a raging car alarm shoved up the tailpipe of a howling cat being thrown in a bagpipe and shoved in a garbage disposal.

I didn't like it.

Most accents can be sexy in the right voice, and terribly unsexy with the wrong voice. I had a dutch room-mate in a hostel about 10 years back, she had a sweet and sexy voice when she spoke in English, but when I read your description of Cantonese she came back to mind because that's how she sounded in Dutch. Every chance to make a glottal stop or that weird throaty hacking noise that the Dutch have, she would drag out for far too long. It was torture to hear. Sweet for moments, then another crunch and hack and.... eugh.

I've heard many a sexy french girl. If only I could have understood a word they said :roll:


Oh, and for some odd reason I find Lancastrian girls always go mad for my Geordie accent. I always think it makes me sound thick.

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Xanthir » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:04 pm UTC

Mr. Mack wrote:
KestrelLowing wrote:The accents that I'm not thrilled with is the American southern accent. For some reason it is so hard to take people who talk with that accent seriously.

Well screw you too, yankee.

No, I'm kidding. Your mistake is that you think the "southern accent" you hear on TV actually exists. Having lived in Georgia my entire life, including some very small towns, I've only heard the TV version of a southern accent three times. Everyone else is much closer to a neutral American accent.

Having lived in Texas my entire life, I can assure you that the TV version of a southern accent is very much real and common. You just have to live in the right place. Living near a big city gives you a more neutral accent. Live in a rural area, and you tend to get the thicker accent. An entire branch of my family lives in small towns in east Texas, and talks with the most ridiculous drawl. Family reunions are *hilarious*.

Back on topic, I find the French stereotype of talking sexy totally true. The French language, not so much, but a native franc speaking English? Sexy.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Alces » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:36 pm UTC

My favourite accent is Scouse (the Liverpool accent); I live near Liverpool and I think it sounds awesome. My own accent is a little Scouse, but unfortunately lacks the best features, like the crazy intonation and the fricativisation of /k/ to /x/ when not initial. And I lack the dental fricatives ('th') like Scousers, but replace them like a Cockney with /f/ and /v/, rather than dental /t/ and /d/.

I like any distinctive accents really; people with them just seem more genuine and friendly than those without (probably because they're more likely to be the same social class as me). Accents like RP, or most American accents (due to little exposure, I find it difficult to tell them apart) just bore me, because I hear them all the time.

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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby tesseraktik » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

WastedCharlie wrote:Most accents can be sexy in the right voice, and terribly unsexy with the wrong voice.
Quoted for ultimate truth.

Statistically speaking, however, I find that I often find anglophones' accents quite pleasant... ...although only when speaking English, so that probably has something to do with it. In particular, I rather enjoy
the accent that I grew used to during my three years in Connecticut (from ages seven to ten). Familiarity probably plays a strong role; as with appearances, I find that my perception of a person's voice cjamges depending on my perception of the person.

Finnish accents work very nicely, whether it's in Finnish, Swedish (♥ finlandssvenska) or English. Norwegians sound very nice in both Norwegian and Swedish. I used to find all applications of Danish to be absolutely dreadful to listen to, but I've come to grown accustomed to it, probably mainly due to the fact that Danish TV and cinema is far superior to ours.

I find most Swedish accents to be very nice when speaking Swedish (although, quite naturally, I consider my own accent to be a bit bland), but I don't like them much at all in English. In particular, I'm quite fond of skånska ("Scanian").
I've been taught in school that Swedish speech patterns are considered to be rude by foreigners, but often when going abroad strangers will come up to me and tell me that they love my accent; something about it being melodic.

I don't think I ever thought I didn't have an accent, but that's probably because I was raised in two countries (Sweden and the U.S.), so by the time I started considering people's accents I was already aware that people tend to sound very natural when speaking their own languages but pretty messed up when speaking others. That being said, I was often surprised when Americans people commented on my accent, as I thought I was
I did notice that a lot of my classmates in the U.S. seemed to think that Americans didn't have accents. I suspect children in many countries think that at some point, although I do believe orinjuse has a point when he says that many non-anglophones are exposed to a foreign language (English) early on, and may therefore gain some scope surrounding their own speech patterns early on.
That being said, some of us pick up biases that anglophones do not. For instance, many Swedes have some notion of the Swedish language being "cleaner" than Norwegian and Danish (supposedly because those languages are similar enough to our own that they sound like badly gutted Swedish to us). In particular, we think that Danish sounds like an unnavigatable soup* of mostly vowels, but on the other hand, I believe that's also how many foreigners feel about Swedish.

*I'm honestly not certain as to why one would wish to navigate a soup, though.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:17 am UTC

Alces wrote:replace them like a Cockney with /f/ and /v/


That's not really cockney, that's a pretty generic feature, I usen't to be able to pronounce my /th/ until I was about 11 when I deliberately trained myself to do it and some of my friends still can't pronounce it.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Dunboyne Affcot » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:51 pm UTC

orinjuse wrote:
RabbitWho wrote:
It always annoys me when Americans say they don't have an accent



I've met lots of Americans. I travel widely, and lots of Americans come to Australia (where I'm from). I've met many many people from other cultures. The only people I've ever heard say they didn't have an accent were Americans, although I admit they were all online. I guess if you travel, you rapidly lose such a silly idea.




I'm from Australia too, and I've met lots of Aussies who seem to think that they don't have an accent. So it seems now that your experience and my experience is combined, Americans are no longer the only ones who make such a ridiculous claim.

I know this because I do have an odd accent despite being born and bred in Australia, and people point it out to me alot (and think they're very clever and keen observers and that no one's ever pointed it out to me before..). They all seem to think that I have "an accent", because they don't have one at all and I speak differently from them. When I explain, "Yes, I do have an accent, like you and everyone else", they deny it, "Pffft, I don't have an accent, you do! Where are you from?" I never used to think I had any accent at all until people started telling me I wasn't from here because I had an accent, and at that it took me a good 5 years or more to admit to myself that not only do I have an accent, I have a different one to what I'm supposed to.


Oops - sexy accents. I don't actually find any of them sexy at all, but I enjoy German accents. I've heard people saying the German language sounds so harsh and angry but I think that could be cultural stereotyping shining through, just quietly. I think it sounds nice, maybe a bit more decisive than, say, French or Italian, but nice. And Spanish is the purdiest accent in my book. Oh, and I LOVE Southern accents :)
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby Makri » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:55 pm UTC

I think people who say they don't have an accent just mean that they don't have an accent vis-à-vis the region they're living in or the region they're from. At least if they aren't stupid. If they are, then they believe that there is some "real" form of the language and that they speak that, and that everybody with an accent just speaks a sort of wrong version...

As for my taste in accents: I find myself to be rather averse to foreign accents in English, while I really like some of them in my own native language (German). In particular, I hate German and Romance (French and Italian are the worst) accents. If there has to be an accent, then let it be Finnish, or if that's not possible, then from some Slavic language.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby themonk » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:19 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Also, Ireland is part of the British Isles so arguably it's a British accent too.

How dare you.

yuyuyami wrote:only people who are uneducated or are too lazy to speak in an easily understood and respectable manner speak like that in the South.

I don't think it has anything to do with laziness. I have lived in Ireland, Northern America and Southern America, and it has more to do with what you have been brought up with - assimilation and so forth. If you were brought up in, let's say Alabama-rural, Clarksville, I believe you would speak just like them.


Scotland wins the sexiest accent; somewhere between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:24 am UTC

I said earlier that I wouldn't say it was, I'm just saying that, depending on what you refer to by "Britain" it could be included as a British accent in that Irish accents come form the British Isles. I was more ranting about the uselessness of the term "British" as anything else.
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Re: Sexy Accents?

Postby WastedCharlie » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:40 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I said earlier that I wouldn't say it was, I'm just saying that, depending on what you refer to by "Britain" it could be included as a British accent in that Irish accents come form the British Isles. I was more ranting about the uselessness of the term "British" as anything else.

It's absurd that in the US there is a notion that British people have one accent. Or even that there is only one Scottish accent and I'm reminded of a story related on Terry Wogan's breakfast radio program many years back:
An English couple on holiday in the US were taking a meal in a diner somewhere in the south of the country when the waitress asks if they're from England. The confirm that they are. She says, "I was watching a program about Prince Charles last night and you two sound just like him." They were from Dudley and had the accent to prove it. :shock:


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