There are many Irish teenagers with American accents. Jedward are an example. On X-Factor Simon Cowell asked the Grimey Twins why they had American accents when they grew up in Ireland. There are individuals who have Irish accents after they return from a J1. This is excusable. One can assume J1ers immersed themselves in the American Dream. Then there are others who have never been to America, but yet have American accents. This baffles (and saddens) me.
Irish culture and American culture are not dissimilar. Americans generally find Irish people easy to connect with over our European counterparts. One could hazard many guesses for the reason. Apart from a favourable tax regime, multinationals companies locate here for the compatibility between Irish and American cultures. The Irish, as a nation look, across the Atlantic – rather than across the Irish Sea – for cultural influence.
American shows are devoured by Irish people. So much so is our appreciation of American Entertainment that the language – “O-M-G!” – is eventually absorbed into Irish society until it is – “totally” – unavoidable. I am guilty of this sin. I – “like” – use Americanisms all the time. I at least have an Irish accent; I’m proud of it. Irish culture is something to be valued and guarded.
My views on this matter are so extreme that I consider people with ‘fake’ American accents to be insecure. I wince when I hear a mid-Atlantic accent. The other night at an arty event, there were an exceptional number of the quirky, indie types, many of which had a mid-Atlantic accent. As the night passed something became clear; these people with the fake accents were in fact American.
For the moment, I am calling a truce with my anti-fake-American accent campaign in fear that my views are based on incorrect interpretations of accents. However, should I meet Tony Fenton and quiz him on his life, pray for him that he has spent significant time in America.