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December 09, 2019

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I sometimes wondered if Benoit Blanc was playing up his accent a la Hercule Poirot, for the sake of putting the suspects off their guard.

My southern family is from Baton Rouge, which has a very soft, refined accent, quite removed from either backwoods Louisiana or the harsher coastal accents of Georgia or the Carolinas (though perhaps people from those groups would be loath to be lumped together). Craig's accent was certainly not Baton Rouge (and neither is Shelby Foote, so that makes sense), but my own grandfather, born more than half a century before Craig, had some tinges of non-rhotic accent and the 'in thing. I think it's also true that accent gets more pronounced the older one is; I certainly see that in my uncles and aunts.

Loved the movie, and Daniel Craig’s accent threw me off. It was like a flat note in a song, it just hit my ear wrong. Now is it for the reasons you state, I have no idea! But I loved reading about why it sounded off to you.

I’m married to a native New Orleanian, whose 80-ish parents (also natives) are DEFINITELY non-rhotic. There’s a silly story from my in-laws’ courtship where my MIL mistook my FIL’s desire for an “ammeter” as a desire for an “airmeter”—because they sound exactly alike! In fact, when I was dating my husband, his mother referred to me as “autistic”—actually ARTISTIC—and I was definitely confused for a minute!
I’m from Montgomery Alabama, and am a reformed user of in’ endings—especially “fixin’”, as in “I’m fixin’ to go to the pool.”

The only people I know with non-rhotic accents are from Louisiana. Our parish has several permanently resettled Katrina refugees, and I have heard non-rhotic speech pretty consistently from the older-than-me folk in that group. Tangentially related, my father, from West TN, has always said Georgia natives pronounce their state as "Jaw-jah."

As for dropping g's in formal and informal settings, I think it is true that Southerners who have higher degrees and higher SES do turn that off in formal settings. However if you wander out into no-man's-land and talk to some genuine country-fried people, the ending g is lost and gone forever.

I have always found accents fascinating. Having been born in a mostly French Canadian area of New England to parents who grew up outside New York City, I might have been linguistically challenged. Most people say I have no accent, but I can tell after one short sentence whether or not someone is from New England and usually what state they lived in. However, a lot of people I know would not bother to correct themselves while talkin’ regardless of the formal setting.

What seems incongruous to me is making a pun out of rhoticity that elicits Detroit, think "Rock City", while the majority of chicken farming is done in Iowa.

Can't wait to see the movie now! And my 55-year-old friend, born in southern Louisiana is a non-rhotic speaker in his native dialect. He code switches fairly well, though it has been amusing to listen to him speak Spanish or try on an Irish brogue because his southern accent peeks through.

I'd say the French name indicates a New Orleans-type background? It didn't sound Georgia/Carolinas/Alabama/Tennessee to me, either. Just from the sound of it, it seemed more ... mouth pursed? Jaw forward? Something like that? Than people around here - north Alabama - we tend to be so loose everything drips and slurs. Well. Not HERE - Huntsville is a very international engineering/army city and most people who have lived here very long don't have much of any kind of accent.

On the subject of accents, I noticed my preacher had an accent that reminded me very much of a mixture of my Grandmother (from Columbia, SC) and my great-aunt (from Charlotte, NC). When I realized that he grew up in Greenville, SC (just about equidistant between the two), I was pretty proud of my ear. :)

I did enjoy Knives Out, though.

Ooh, haven't read all the comments yet, but I'll tell you I've lived in the deep south my whole life, and can't STAND most actors' "Southern" accents. None of them do it right.

I definitely thought he was supposed to be leaning into his accent (dropping all those 'g's) to make himself less intimidating, especially to the female lead.

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