why did actors in old black and white tv shows and movies talk funny and when did that end?

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why did actors in old black and white tv shows and movies talk funny and when did that end?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

They were taught to use the mid-atlantic accent. Now, this wasn’t a ‘real’ accent. It was created to have an accent that was sort of posh (it borrowed a lot from Recieved Pronunciation, aka how the educated brits used to talk, as well as upper class New England accents) but not tied to any particular place.

It started to fall out of favour in the 50s, partially because media was getting less stylised and more natural-ish. And because it wasn’t an accent anyone grew up speaking, once it fell out of favour it stopped being taught and disappeared almost immediately.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The “Mid-Atlantic Accent,” so called because it contained traits from both American and English upper-class accents, was popular because it was seen as the fancy hoity-toity accent. It’s what was taught to students in private schools, professional orators, and classically trained theater actors. And since it was popular in theater, it carried over into radio, film, and television. Another incidental reason that it was popular was that it sounded very crisp and clear on the recording and broadcast equipment of the time, which had limited dynamic range and poor audio quality.

It declined after World War II, largely because fancy schools stopped teaching it. East coast old money WASPs were no longer the sole tastemakers of America, and it was no longer trendy to imitate them, and it lost value as a social signifier.

Anonymous 0 Comments

That sort of “accent” was spoken in many acting classes in the US and subsequently used in movies was referred to as the “mid-Atlantic” accent. You hear it a lot in radio as well. Those actors kind of aged out of roles and as TVs became popular, that accent sort of just died out when it came to acting roles, and actors’ normal speaking voices became more “valuable”.

Like any trend in the modern era… once everyone catches on to it, another one takes its place.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The mid atlantic accent thing is right. But its also because of the microphone technology available at the time. The range of sounds it picked up added to the effect of the accent

Anonymous 0 Comments

not really answering your question, more so just a response to those who are answering. i see it commonly said that this accent wasn’t used in real life, but i remember my grandpa always spoke like this! it’s interesting to me lol