Do you like to hear Margaret Atwood interviewed, just because she has that very odd accent?
I have not read he books, I just like to listen to her talk as I am a amateur cunning linguist.
- MarliLv 71 month agoFavorite Answer
Yes, I like hearing Margaret Atwood speak.
I don't what Anonymous means by a "general American accent" because the United States has several accents. So has Canada.
I agree with Anonymous about all the rest. Ms Atwood uses the language carefully and lovingly. She debuted in print as a poet before she became a novelist. Poets are both crafters and artists with language. They manipulate words. They sculpt or colour them, or fade out the colour. They layer sentences or strip them down to one meaning - but seldom the obvious meaning.
Ms Atwood is a highly educated Canadian from Southern Ontario. Her ancestors may have emigrated to Upper Canada from England or as Loyalists from the northeastern US. Academics and Englsh teachers I overhear in my (I hope still) well-respected library speak in her tones of voice. I was taught in elementary school by women who spoke as she does. They were of United Empire Loyalists stock, or of later English and Scots.
She seems poised and professorial, and like women who in childhood were taught social graces. I have not read about her background. If she was born in Toronto, I would place her childhood home in The Annex, Austin Terrace/Casa Loma or Lawrence Park areas (upper middle class urban professional families established in the city by 1900) Her parents or grandparents may have known a few leading citizens like the Eaton family. A polished voice of a PhD who studied at a prestigous university (or several universities) and who teaches university students. It's the voice of a woman who gently yet firmly says "My words are worth your heeding."
- Anonymous1 month ago
It's not odd, it's Ontario.
- Anonymous1 month ago
I don't find her accent "very odd." I don't even find it "odd." The oddest thing about it actually is it doesn't sound odd, because isn't she Canadian? I'm pretty sure she is, so she should have a Canadian accent, but she doesn't. She has a General American (GenAm) accent. I mean, there are little idiosyncrasies because she doesn't move her mouth very much when she talks, but that's not an accent. That's just her manner.
Now, it is enjoyable to hear her talk because language is her craft. She has a broad vocabulary that uses small, clever words instead of big words that always try too hard to impress and because she phrases her words in interesting and unexpected ways while unpacking what she's saying one piece at a time in a planned order. It's like she's spinning one of her yarns. My great grandma used to talk a lot like her. She was a great storyteller. I think in the past, people were a lot better at talking, a lot better at storytelling, unraveling narratives in a manner that easily strings the listener along, whereas today, talking is about efficiency and leading with what's most important rather than arriving at it naturally through a variegated course. There's no patience for that. We want to know upfront. So efficiency and effectiveness is what we teach kids, the mantra of communications classes and English classes from grade school all the way up through college, the only exception being creative writing classes, which are normally electives and which most kids never elect. It's all very artless, and talking like so many people used to talk, like Margaret Atwood talks and like my great grandma talked, that's becoming if not a lost art, a much rarer art.