vendredi 4 mars 2011

London Calling

In London I saw a fantastic  exhibition  where I spent  many hours last Tuesday (from 9.30 pm, the opening time, to the middle of the afternoon after a lunch break  :)

I loved above all the audio extracts offered to illustrate the variety of accents used in English.

Sophie Ellis Bextor's Murder on the Dance Floor. Not only the accent was typically London but the video of a dance marathon is very English too. Reminds me of Strictly Dancing. :)

The curators of the exhibition contrasted it to another famous hit : Dancing in the Street by the duet Jaegger/ Bowie

They dance like teens! :)

Lily Allen's LDN evokes the London streets full of bikes these days, the reggaeish style of music is pleasant too. The chorus about summer is full of freshness.

Then I heard  a song that I knew of : 500 miles by the Proclaimers but had never taken the time to look for. 

God ! Their Scottish accent is really obvious. All those undipthongued vowels !

There was also accents from other English -speaking countries than Britain but I only took notes about the songs which tickled my fancy as it is. For example for the US, there was a strange song by Frank Zappa which I didn't really like as much as the others musically-speaking but which nevertheless had a specific linguistic interest since it illustrated perfectly the West Coast variety of accent also called Valspeak.

 I also attended a lunchtime talk by Deborah Cameron called : The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do men and Women really speak different languages?

As debates continue to rage as how men and women’s brains may or may not differ, D.Cameron tackles some of the most persistent myths about language use. 
  Though a bit wary of this very commercial-sounding title, I learnt quite a lot of things which I will sum up tomorrow ;)