Why Kevin Spacey’s accent in House of Cards sounds off


Kevin Spacey grew up in California, but in
House of Cards, he plays a politician from South Carolina. “As we used to say in Gaffney…”
The first thing you’ll notice about Spacey’s accent when he’s playing Frank Underwood is
what happens to a lot of his Rs. “Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling
apart after 10 years. Power…” This is called r-dropping, and it’s a feature of several
well-known dialects. “He would rather the poor were poorer.” “The greatest wilderness
on Earth.” “In the tradition of bipartisanship.” “Metropolitan Museum of Art.” But it’s also
associated with the upper class of the plantation South. “This war talk’s spoiling all the fun
at every party this spring.” R-dropping emerged as kind of an affectation among posh people
in southern Britain in the 18th century — the English didn’t always talk that way. And then
it spread to elites on the East Coast of the US. At the same time, r-dropping was a feature
of the creole and West African languages spoken by some of the slaves in the South and their
descendants. But after World War II, new generations of white Southerners essentially abandoned
r-dropping, so today you’ll see it mostly in the very oldest generation, or more frequently
with African-American speakers from the South. Take Lindsey Graham as an example. Like Kevin
Spacey’s character, Graham is from the northern part of South Carolina, and his Rs are largely
intact. “going to sell the oil to another customer.” And that may be because language
in the Southern Appalachian areas was influenced by settlers from Ireland, where people aren’t
exactly shy with their Rs. “Seriously. Serious. How close does that sound to the Kentucky
accent where they talk like that and I’m talking like this?” Regardless, R-dropping probably
can’t be the shortcut that white actors use to sound Southern in the future. Instead,
the main feature that unites Southern dialects is something called /ay/-ungliding. For people
outside the South, this vowel has two parts. You can probably feel your tongue shifting
as you say the word “buy.” But in Southern speech, /ay/ is a one-part vowel in many cases,
sounding more like ah than ay. “Five” “and livelihoods” “terrified.” But there’s an important
distinction here that Northerners might not be aware of. Most Southerners only do ay-ungliding
before what’s called voiced consonants, or at the end of a word. The difference between
voiced and voiceless consonants is whether your vocal chords vibrate when you say them,
and ay-ungliding before voiceless consonants is stereotyped in the South as a less-educated
way of speaking. “But I don’t want your life.” Ay-ungliding triggers a shift in the vowels,
or in the space in the mouth where the vowels are formed. The ey-sound shifts lower in the
mouth. “And then blame somebody else.” The eh-sound moves forward to the front of the
mouth. “Just as strong and opinionated as men.” As do the vowels pronounced in the back
of the mouth like go and boot. “Thank you.” These vowel shifts occur to different degrees
in different parts of the South, and they’re certainly fading in cities where there’s a
lot of migration and generational change. But if you’re an actor from the North or the
West, the vowels are really the key to sounding Southern.

Wolf Blitzer Accepts Donald Trump’s Fake News Award


SPEAKING OF FAKE NEWS TODAY IS THE DAY PRESIDENT PROMISED TO HAND OUT MOST CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE IT’S RIDICULOUS BUT DANGEROUS. TRUMP CONTINUES TO COMPLAIN THAT THE COVERAGE BY THE MAIN STREAM NEGATIVE IS NEGATIVE THAT’S TRUE OF COURSE, WHEN YOU COVER A TRAIN WRECK YOU DON’T GIVE EQUAL TIME TO THE TRAIN. [ LAUGHTER ]
SO HIS GOAL IS TO DISCREDIT THE INTEGRITY OF EVERY MEDIA OUTLET THAT ISN’T FOX AND FRIENDS. HIS PRIMARY TARGET IS CNN SO HERE LIVE VIA SATELLITE TO ARE ACCEPT THE DONALD TRUMP DISHONEST AND CORRUPT FAKE NEWS FOR 2018 LEAD CNN COMMENTATOR MR. WOLF BLITZER. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>I HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE TO ACKNOWLEDGE. FIRST THE FAKE NEWS WRITER WHO’S TIRELESSLY MADE UP BRILLIANT [ BLEEP ] ALL YEAR LONG.>>OKAY.>>WANT TO THANK THE SPECIAL EFFECTS TEAM MADE IT LOOK LIKE THE PRESIDENT THREW PAPER TOWELS AT PUERTO RICANS AND MOST IMPORTANTLY — THIS.>>THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DON’T TRUST THE NEWS, THIS MAN IS NOT WOLF BLITZER THIS MAN IS MY FATHER AND DAD I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UP TO BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS RIGHT THE NEWS IS FAKE, YOU’RE A FAKE WOLF BLITZER.>>WHOEVER SAID I WAS WOLF BLITZER.
>>YOU DID.>>NO YOU SAID I WAS WOLF BLITZER.
>>DAD YOU TURNS YOUR GARAGE INTO A SITUATION ROOM. THAT’S NOT NORMAL. THAT’S FAKE. THE PRESIDENT DIDN’T EVEN HAND OUT THE FAKE NEWS AWARDS TODAY EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS FAKE.>>IS ANYBODY HUNGRY, I MADE MINI MUFFINS.>>IT’S RACHAEL MADDOW.>>NO THAT’S MOTHER, THAT’S MOM.>>NOT TONIGHT IT ISN’T. COME ON RACHAEL LET’S GO HOME AND HOWEL AT THE WOLVES.>>WHOOO. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>OKAY.