Friday, September 4, 2009


Oh my God! Look at what has happened! Look how the internet senses & responds to my every whim! Beautiful, wonderful, amazing, brilliant internet! How can it be that you care for me so much, when I have often scorned and cursed at you for running too slowly and for failing to load websites that I want? I am in a frenzy of self-reproach! Oh, internet, just tell me how to make it up to you! I will make you cakes, I will buy you jewels, I will travel to the North Pole and bring you back the head of a polar bear!

(You were doing quite well until you got to the bit about the polar bear.)

You may wonder what this is all about and DO NOT WORRY BECAUSE I WILL TELL YOU.

For a while I have had this project of trying to identify English accents. I am better at it than I used to be - obviously since going to England, but also since I've just been paying attention. Hitherto I have been getting by inspecting actor bios on IMDB when I watch British telly, which, yes, slows the progrses of my project, but not unduly, and it was the only way of managing it. I thought.



The British Library (which I have never scorned or cursed of course) (except for earlier today when I discovered that it wasn't going to let me listen to all the stuff I wanted to listen to on account of being American and not at university) has digitized their sound archives. Like including oral history. Which you can organize by county. Which means I can listen to what people sound like anywhere in Britain.

Today I listened to a dude from Cumbria who feels sad for children these days and their need for instant gratification. He actually said Bligh (is that how it's spelled?). "The dogs have nowhere to go; kiddies have nowhere to go. Bligh." He sounds a bit like the way the people in The Secret Garden talk. Except? He's not from Yorkshire. And now I can just go to the British Library website and listen to someone who IS. Whenever I feel like it.

Swear to Jesus.

I love the internet.

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