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Ever watch anything from the 1930’s or 40’s? You might have noticed the strange accent that some of the people in those films used. There’s a name for, the Transatlantic accent. Contrary to other accents this one was developed, it was never formally spoken by anyone until it became a learned thing. It came mostly from the theater, as a means of acting and distinguishing oneself as an aristocrat. Typically those that spoke in this way would drop their r’s at the end of certain words and would practice precise enunciation on other letters that typical American English wouldn’t bother with.
The Transatlantic accent fell out of favor after WWII, and as a result of no longer being taught or used extensively it kind of went away. There are still actors that will use it in period pieces from time to time but for the most part it bit the dust not long after the war was over. Some might say good riddance because it was deemed kind of an uppity way to talk, but others would claim that it was an interesting phenomenon in the world of linguistics. In fact you could almost say that the reason it sounds old-timey is simply because we haven’t seen fit to use it in anything but parodies or as a bit of fun from time to time. In many ways it’s just one more aspect of life from back in those days that we’ve almost let go of and is a relic of an era that has long since come and gone.
Thankfully it’s still preserved within the movies...
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