Archives for posts with tag: United States

A look into Anonymous‘ most recent cyber protest

By Lory Martinez

OP USA Poster

Infamous hacker group “Anonymous” threatened a massive cyber attack on US servers earlier this week  to protest American foreign policy. The plan, dubbed #OP USA, was to be Anonymous’ successful follow-up to #OP Israel, but it did little to no damage to US sites.

According to the group’s press release, “#OpUSA will be initiated on 7th of May 2013 and will target American websites & servers. The hackers say they are targeting the USA for its war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The hackers also said the attacks will be done in solidarity with the innocent victims of american drone attacks especially the innocent children.”

However,the plan backfired and instead reinforced relations between the groups’ victims-the US and Israel- in cyberspace. The Times of Israel reported that Israeli hackers promised to fight alongside American cyber-defenders, if the need should arise. The Israel Elite Hacker team, formed in the wake of #OpIsrael, tweeted, “This is a message from the Jewish Nation to our friends in the #USA,” the group said. “Although we have cowards for leaders, we take care of our friends!”

In the states, our cultural response had less of a “friends stick together” feel. It was simply a matter of memes:

The Internet reacts to #OPUSA

Some food for thought, from all of us here at The Media Review.

A note: Even though the semester is over and our show ended this past week, we will still be bringing you updates and commentary on the media well into the summer. Thanks for listening and reading!

[ɪntəˈnæʃənəɫ] : "International" in ...

[ɪntəˈnæʃənəɫ] : “International” in Received Pronunciation [ɪɾ̃ɚˈnæʃɨnəɫ] : “International” in General American Vector  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A look into accents in media and their role in“neutralizing” speech.

By Lory Martinez

Have you listened to the radio lately?Well, if you have, you may have noticed that hosts all speak a certain way on air.

Listeners hear what is called, “the news accent.” See, journalists the world over are trained in this accent before broadcasting. After years of listening to radio broadcasts and noticing it,I decided to take a look at this universal “news accent.” and its origin.

In my search for an explanation on the beginnings of news accents, I found little research explaining the effects of the particular intonation journalists use on their words. I did, however, find an overwhelmingly large amount of “accent-eliminating” programs.

People seem to want to lose their original accents all together. In the UK, citizens who aren’t even employed by the British Broadcasting Corporation, download and learn BBC English accents “Received Pronunciation,” courses.

In the states, journalists like Linda Ellerbee had to work hard to eliminate their accents. She completely lost her Texan accent when she began her broadcast career. In a special on Midwestern accents, she said, “In television you’re not supposed to sound like you’re from anywhere.” Most American newscasters speak in what is known as “General American,” or “Standard American English.” ESL kids all over the world are taught this version of English because it is the clearest and easiest to understand.

According to the dialectblog.com:

Some features include

“The short-a (as in cat) is raised and diphthongized before nasal consonants. Hence man and can’t are pronounced something like IPA meən and keənt (“meh-uhn” and “keh-uhnt.”)

Rhotic, meaning the r is pronounced at the end of words like car and mother.

Words like lot and rod are pronounced with an unrounded vowel, as lɑt and ɹɑd (“laht” and “rahd”).

The diphthong in words like boat and rode is pronounced relatively back: i.e. IPA boʊt and roʊd”

Not surprisingly, the only studies that have been done on the psychological effect of accents have been on foreign accents and speaker credibility.

This, is in part because of the way the media has portrayed certain accents:

Southerners don’t want their accents to portray them as stupid because pop culture has parodied that accent to a point that people are ashamed of it.

Immigrants have been mocked for their accents for decades in every context.

New ‘yawkers’ and Californians…need I say more?

As “media people,” why do we feel this need to change our speech patterns toward “neutral?” Even, as Ms. Ellerbee seemed to allude, to sound like we aren’t from anywhere? Is it more professional? Or is it a psychologically affecting tone?

What do you guys think?

http://www.thenewsburner.com/2011/10/20/you-know-what-the-midwest-is/

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AmericanAccents

http://dialectblog.com/2011/08/01/general-american-english/

Areas of the U.S. where "dew" and &q...

Areas of the U.S. where “dew” and “do” are pronounced differently. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A look into the Accents of the Southern Tier

by Alex Baer

Fourth of July, 1960. Columnist Norma Gauhn has dire words for Americans in the “jet age”: dialects are disappearing. So-called “speech experts” predict that “mass communications, compulsory education,” and the emergence of driver culture would soon homogenize American accents.

On the surface, it makes a good bit of sense; with distance made inconsequential, people aren’t as separated- one of the key factors that leads to the emergence of different dialects. Dialects, in layman’s terms, are variations of a language, different in their vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. For most American English dialects, the differences lie in their pronunciation.

While some accents do seem to be receding (how many New Englanders still sound like JFK?), what is becoming more and more apparent is that despite Skype, free long distance, and YouTube, dialects in the United States are changing more than ever.

As some of our listeners in the Southern Tier may know, one of these newfound dialects is in our own backyard. Coined in 1972 by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the Northern Cities Vowel Shift refers to an emergent accent relatively new to linguistics; spoken by over 30 million people from Milwaukee to Syracuse, it has scientists scratching their heads.

The accent has some key features that distinguish it from other American dialects: the backing of ʌ, the short u sound (as in uh), the fronting of aw, and the diphthongization of ae. What the heck is a diphthong, you say? It’s two adjacent vowels that lie within the same syllable. I just used one; the ie in lie is a diphthong.

For example: whereas someone would say “my mom got a cat,” someone from Rochester might say “my mahm gawt a kee-at.”

Any avid YouTubers out there might be familiar with Jenna Marbles, a Rochester native.Fans of classic Saturday Night Live also might remember Bill Swerski’s Superfans, a famous and early example of the accent.

Vowels are the key to understanding this linguistic change. There are short vowels (like in bat, or bot), and long vowels (like in boat, or beet). Long vowels have stayed the same since around the 1400s, but short vowels haven’t changed since the time of Charlemagne… until now.

William Labov, who identified the accent with the help of fellow linguists, is one of the leading experts on the dialect. Labov has likened this shift to “something like a game of musical chairs.” With each vowel sound fighting for their own phonological turf, a chain shift has occurred.

Together with Sharon Ash, Charles Boberg, published The Atlas of North American English back in 2005. Over 750 subjects were interviewed, from almost 300 communities, over 11 years. Called a “snapshot of our rapidly changing language,” it documents everything from the modern Bawston accent to the North Country (or Inland North) accent, and many more.

At any rate, it does seem that fears that mass communication is pushing us into a single accent are quite unfounded. We learn language from personal interactions, talking face-to-face with our friends and family. Even as cables and fibers turn us into a globally interconnected culture, we still retain our almost tribal identity of the people we interact with on a regional level.

So the next time you find yourself at a Syracuse game, or talking to a hometown Brewers fan, really listen. You just might learn something!

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Wednesday

Wednesday (Photo credit: teachernz)

Remember to tune into whrwfm.org at 4pm this Wednesday for our live panel discussion on:

The Evolution of Accents!

Amy Walker’s famous 21 accents.

A look into how The Media Review does Spring Break (Part 3)

by Lory Martinez

It has been quite the week for us at The Media Review , after moshing with Kate Nash and asking some of our favorite poets their opinions on online publishing, I took to wandering about New York looking for one more thing to share with you all. So, I went back to Strand Bookstore and looked for one our most popular topics: Nostalgia. And I found this beauty on the ground floor in “Books We Love under $10”

This throwback book includes images of

  • Captain Planet, the beloved blue and eco-friendly super hero. Buzzfeed argues his companions are really just the kids from The Magic School Bus all grown up. I like to think this is true. 
  • Steve Urkel‘s seminal catch phrase, “Did I do that?” along with a picture of the first guy with glasses who could steal America’s heart  after FDR. 

  • Cartoon bright Reeboks, so stylish then.They have been made into these

Don’t call it a comeback, they’ve been here for years guys.

  • Blossom’s hat/Sister Sister stars Tia and Tamar Mowry’s favorite accesories ( I recall them donning this hat with, what else? Oversized denim overalls.

Give it a look see, did I miss anything? Do you recognize the other two 90’s references here?

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