Stiff Upper Lip – Sir Alec Douglas-Home
This coming week on ST will be accents week.
In their extreme, accents can entirely take over people’s faces as was the case with former British Prime Miniser, Sir Alec Douglas-Home (pronounced ‘Hume’ for some unknown reason – presumably to do with a long line of affected speaking). Home had the quintessential English ‘stiff upper lip’, to the extent that while talking, there was almost no perceptible difference between him and a ventriloquist dummy, his top lip being almost entirely motionless.
Here, Home slides out diphthong after diphthong from the narrow slit where his mouth should be (owf instead of off, caeb instead of cab), and where consonants would be more intelligible, proving that the English upper classes didn’t actually speak very clearly. The overall effect is no less exaggerated than the flailing gesticulations of a grovelling courtier.
Competition: Feel free to post some links to clips of ‘Home-like’ Ventriloquist puppets in the comments.