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Old 10-05-2019, 04:23 PM
Andy L is online now
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Origin of affected pronunciation of "murder"


I'm sure you're familiar with the stagy way people sometimes pronounce the word 'murder'

Here's Frasier saying it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41OW_1RCNsU

Is there a specific origin for this way of emphasizing the word - Basil Rathbone perhaps? Any ideas.

(note, the SDMB did do a good job with the similar question about Dracula https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=211365)
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:42 PM
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Cheap stage melodramas is where that comes from.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:07 AM
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Not the first, certainly, but a memorable one...Peter Lorre’s Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon (1941).

Spade is talking to the cops at his apartment door and has left O’Shaughnessy and Cairo together in the other room. She attacks Cairo somehow and the police enter. Cairo accuses O’Shaughnessy, saying “...I did not want to stay here and (eyes wide) be MOORDERED.”

Followed by the great throwaway line where Cairo prepares to leave along with the policemen and Spade asks where HE’S going. “oh, you, know...it’s late...” like he’s walking out on a tea party.
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Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 10-06-2019 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:36 PM
drad dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
I'm sure you're familiar with the stagy way people sometimes pronounce the word 'murder'

Here's Frasier saying it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41OW_1RCNsU

Is there a specific origin for this way of emphasizing the word - Basil Rathbone perhaps? Any ideas.

(note, the SDMB did do a good job with the similar question about Dracula https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=211365)
He's quoting Shakespeare in the clip.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:55 PM
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In the OP's video, Frasier says, "murder most foul."

This is a quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet (I.v.27-28), where the Ghost comments about his own death: "Murder most foul as in the best it is/But this most foul, strange and unnatural."

Shakespearean actors often exaggerate the natural way of saying things for dramatic effect, as exemplified by the actor in this clip.
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