For Candidates, An Accent on Authenticity What do Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and John Edwards have in common? They've all been criticized for the way they speak. Linguist Geoff Nunberg has some thoughts about candidates and regional cadence.
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For Candidates, An Accent on Authenticity

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For Candidates, An Accent on Authenticity

For Candidates, An Accent on Authenticity

For Candidates, An Accent on Authenticity

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/95729820/95729818" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

What do Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and John Edwards have in common? They've all been criticized for the way they speak — charged with affecting or suppressing or exaggering an accent so voters will identify with them.

But do accents have anything to do with authenticity? Does a dropped 'g' or a Southern-fried phrasing offer any kind of window into character? Linguist Geoff Nunberg has some thoughts about candidates and regional cadence.

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