I think all of us would admit that accents matter. They can change the way we think about a person’s brains or education, and coupled with specific voices can make things sound goofy or smart or folksy or palatable.
How much of your attitude toward Palin is influenced by her accent and/or voice? I think it’s fairly high for me. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard, and while I can sometimes still respect people whose voices are that unattractive to me, it’s definitely harder–no matter their political leanings.
Her voice grates. Her accent sends the signal that she is not intelligent. People are judgemental like that, and I’ve known Southerners who worked at losing their accents because Northerners and other associate that accent with stupidity. It ain’t true and it ain’t fair and it’s likely to lead a person to underestimate his opponent in a card game, but it’s something to take into account when you are trying to appeal to a broader audience.
Drat, I forgot the second half of the question, which is:
Would she be wise to get a voice coach, or is it too late?
For me it’s not the timbre of her voice so much. Her accent and phrasing, though, do make her seem (to me) to be uneducated and unpolished. And I think that she plays to her base somewhat by purposefully keeping her phrasing unpolished.
By “phrasing” I am referring to the way she drops the g’s at the ends of present participles, but also her word choices (diction) and the way she puts sentences together (bad syntax and bad flow of “ideas”).
And yes, I do judge people on their phrasing. Less so, I hope, on their accent or other vocal characteristics.
ETA: and as for a voice coach, if she were to speak noticeably differently two years from now, it might alienate her base. And I don’t think that sort of coaching would help her diction or syntax any.
I wouldn’t say that her voice was the main reason I think she’d make a horrible choice for any office, but it is certainly a contributor. Every time I heard her on the radio, I wanted to change the channel. The timbre of her voice is like an icepick through my eardrums.
The grating voice didn’t help, but I think it was the content of her spoken word that sealed her fate.
And she can skip the voice coach. Too little, too late.
There’s nothing about her that merits respect, but the fact that she sounds as though she should be chewing gum and taking my breakfast order merits contempt. Itsays to me that she’s not interested in being taken seriously by serious people. She’s counting on being found “folksy” by idiots.
I will admit her voice plays into my opinion of her as did her mannerism but mostly it was what she said, her past history and her current actions that gave me a very negative opinion of her.
Her voice was only a small part of the package and her lack of knowledge, hiding from interviews, rabble rousing and thinking an energy plan = Drill, Drill, Drill were the big problems. She needs to go away and let the Republican party try to find a new direction.
Nancy Pelosi has an irritating grating speaking voice too, or speaking style or whatever, but I don’t disagree with her positions nearly as much as I disagree with Palin’s.
I don’t notice her accent as much as I notice that her sentence structure seems backwards.
It seems to me that she says the last part of her sentences first and the first part last (with some “fillers” int he middle), which leaves me trying toswitch the two parts real quick, causing me to lose track of whatever point (if there was one) she was trying to make in the first place.
It’s really not her voice that bothers me. It’s what she says. She speaks in Jabberwocky language.
I don’t know… I have a soft spot for Marge Gunderson. So I could have found Palin’s similar accent endearing.
Unfortunately, she’s in favor of “teaching the controversy” with regard to evolution. The moment she did that, Palin hung an enormous moron sign on her head as far as I’m concerned.
I don’t find her speaking to be nails-on-the-blackboard, but I’d endure it from someone whose policies make sense.
I know for us it is the seemingly affected ‘cuteness’ of her accent. It’s hard to miss phrases that she uses that aren’t normally used by an adult woman - you betcha.
On a side note, Sarah Palin reminds my husband of the crazy quest giver in Megaton in Fallout 3 - Moira. He literally says ‘gotta go talk to Sarah’ when going to turn in quests with her. And that’s *really *not a good thing - did I mention the crazy?
Her accent tells me more about those who perceive her accent a certain way than about her.
I mean she’s a small town lady. That doesn’t equal dumb. The lady isn’t dumb. She didn’t know the business a VP needed to know, but not knowing things isn’t the equivalent of being dumb. Many people who think they are a lot smarter than they actually are can’t tell the difference.
Her accent tells me she’s from Alaska, that’s it.
She can not hold a thought. She bounces off like a child without ever really saying anything. I think she sounds cute though. Her funny accent is amusing. Ask her if she is going to run for president in 2012 and step back. She will go everywhere. Then you will wonder ,did she say she was running or not.
The accent played into the caricature of Palin because it was easy to mock, but it didn’t influence my attitude toward her. What did influence my attitude somewhat was the sense that she was dramatically overplayed her own folksiness to charm her audience. Last month, I heard part of an NPR piece where a guest theorized - I think with some input from people who’ve known her a long time - that she doesn’t really talk that way, and that voice is actually her version of a stereotypical Alaskan accent.
Does Alaska have an accent different from standard NAE? I’m convinced that her “folksy” speech is as fake as a seven-dollar bill. No one else from Alaska that I’ve heard talks like that.
There’s nothing wrong with her accent. I actually think it’s interesting to hear a politician speak in their own hometown accent as opposed to the newscaster-ese most of them use.
It’s her choice of words that makes her sound stupid…
“Don’t cha know?”
When SNL can parody you by using your exact words, that’s a problem.
Accents such as Palin mark the person as being different. In politics different is bad. It also hurt her that she had other cultural markers such as numerous kids, religiousity, conservative politics, and non-elite education. She probably could have overcome her accent if she did not have the other markers. Since most people think they are the arbiter of rationality in the world anything that marks someone as different gets them labeled as stupid or weird. It is too late for her to lose the accent, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Sounds kind of like a Canadian accent or a northern midwestern accent to me.
Her accent is working quite well for her among her base.
This thread is more evidence of people think that they are indicative of the mainstream. That the politician who they aren’t behind should pander to them for some reason. This is why people in the main street America style think of the urban elitists. Because the urban elitists want everyone to adopt that sort of cosmopolitan standard, and cannot even comprehend that there is this whole other America that doesn’t agree with them. Except of course when they are denigrating them as ignorant religious zealots.