The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Laura Flanders' bizarre diction

The Air America weekend host speaks on air as if she's being fed her lines a word at a time down her talkback.

(British readers hearing her would recall the style of long-time Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker; take that down a few decibels (too few for comfort) and you have it.)

I had assumed this to be some sort of talk radio artefact: anticipating interference on AM radio, car noise, not to mention the desire at all costs to sound different from NPR, and the like.

But I then heard a couple of clips of Flanders on a BBC programme on the writing and performing partnership between her father, Michael Flanders, and Donald Swann. And her diction was pretty much identical to her AAR style.

Her sister, Stephanie Flanders, who has cropped up here once or twice, talks a natural, rather fruity, not-quite-RP on the BBC.

The bio show said, which I hadn't realised, that it was Swann who eventually decided to bring the partnership to a close: he had other things he wanted to do and other people he wanted to work with. Whereas polio victim Flanders missed the roar of the greasepaint - one sensed abundant bitterness and disappointment there.

(Transcripts of all the F & S material here.)

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