Please don't sanitize Meghan Markle

If the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, the rain on the grounds of Kensington Palace will fall in a markedly ...

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 7:14 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 7:14 PM

If the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, the rain on the grounds of Kensington Palace will fall in a markedly similar fashion.

And it will fall in an identical accent to this line -- fed to Eliza Doolittle by Henry Higgins during her elocution lessons in My Fair Lady -- if Buckingham Palace gets its hands on the larynx of Meghan Markle.

The royal bride-to-be is, according to reports in the British tabloids earlier this week, undergoing elocution and etiquette lessons. "She simply cannot be 'taking out the trash' and 'wearing pants,'" a royal source was quoted as saying.

If true, this is a great shame. The very essence of what makes us human is language -- the vocabulary we select and the accent in which we deliver it. It's what characterizes and differentiates us. It was surely a factor in Prince Harry's attraction to Meghan in the first place.

The modern image the Palace is trying to cultivate would also be blemished if this is true. It would be a regressive step to sanitize and anglicize Markle -- her American dulcet tones are a crucial part of what make her sparkle. It could be that the Palace balked at the first American accent to grace their grounds since the problematic Wallis Simpson. But by doing so, they ignore a gratifying linguistic trend.

The Queen's English is dying out -- if not grammatically, then melodically. It was once the case that the RP accent -- received pronunciation -- was the domain of every British newsreader (especially on the BBC). It was the holy grail of accents: neutral, trustworthy, authoritative, but utterly dull.

That was during a time when accents were thought to denote character traits, including intelligence and articulateness. It's a time the Palace refuses to accept has been and gone.

Education was restricted to the elite. Beautiful, mellifluous and sesquipedalian words were therefore the exclusive domain of the privileged, with their clipped, cut-glass accents.

But as access to education opened, a linguistic phenomenon flourished: eloquence without elocution. It's a delightful juxtaposition, and a hallmark of the current generation of writers, speakers and language lovers.

Something superbly democratic has happened: Access to the words previously roped off in the VIP enclave is now available to people who pronounce them altogether differently. It reinvigorates the previously pretentious with a rougher, cooler edge.

The redistribution of language isn't confined to accent. It also stretches to argot -- the terminology that differentiates a particular group. American argot is the diction that has Markle sit her fanny on a chair (her bottom, after finishing school anglicizes her). We hear eloquence in all accents, patois from every corner.

As Jamila Lysicott eloquently asks in her TED talk, Three Ways to Speak English, who controls articulation? Articulate, as a compliment, has been conventionally perceived as being owned by posh white men.

It overlooks the ever-transforming nature of language and the creativity of colloquial patois used by different groups to develop kinship with others of their race, religion, age, social class or sexual orientation -- from hip-hop to street slang; Yiddish to Polari.

A diversity of accents within the Monarchy, and wider society, reveals that education and eloquence aren't owned by the British aristocracy. These traits can exist in America and Australia.

I just hope someone tells the Palace.

Lafayette
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 23°
Kokomo
Cloudy
24° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 16°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 21°
Lafayette
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 23°
Danville
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 17°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 17°
Monticello
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 22°
Monticello
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 22°
Logansport
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 19°
Snow Returns Sunday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 605426

Reported Deaths: 9642
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion836221331
Lake45189680
Allen32646547
Hamilton29240315
St. Joseph27260380
Elkhart24354344
Vanderburgh19292248
Tippecanoe17905133
Johnson14974293
Porter14707168
Hendricks14295248
Madison10909220
Vigo10688179
Clark10581139
Monroe9338110
Delaware9089134
LaPorte9007162
Howard8177143
Kosciusko803182
Warrick668798
Hancock6639104
Bartholomew6443100
Floyd6377109
Wayne6106161
Grant5965115
Dubois554079
Boone549467
Morgan535595
Henry505564
Marshall502684
Cass482663
Dearborn476245
Noble471257
Jackson421947
Shelby413881
Lawrence389179
Clinton372043
Gibson369159
DeKalb345964
Harrison345644
Montgomery343354
Knox334339
Miami319844
Steuben313045
Whitley304526
Wabash301447
Adams299635
Ripley297545
Putnam294149
Huntington290659
Jasper288134
White272242
Daviess266774
Jefferson262538
Decatur246583
Fayette246348
Greene239262
Posey238128
Wells234050
LaGrange227662
Scott223439
Clay221832
Randolph212848
Jennings197736
Sullivan191133
Spencer190121
Washington183722
Fountain183127
Starke174843
Jay167022
Owen163637
Fulton163130
Orange157234
Carroll156415
Rush154418
Perry152727
Vermillion148634
Franklin147833
Tipton131832
Parke13038
Pike116226
Blackford110922
Pulaski96837
Newton90721
Brown87534
Benton86510
Crawford7929
Martin73013
Warren6777
Switzerland6575
Union6267
Ohio4867
Unassigned0375

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events