Over there over here

Americans have always had an inferiority complex vis-a-via the British, considering the latter to be the epitome of civilization while the former have never shed their rustic manners and nouveau riche disposition. It is no wonder that the British accent is perceived to bring class and gravitas to the products of the American culture industry. Even when the accent is repressed, filtered through the lingo of the urban streets (Elba and West in The Wire), infused with brooding biker menace (Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy), or flattened into a monotone military cadence (Lewis in Homeland), the chance that it might “pop out” at any moment titillates the average American viewer. Even a fake British accent suffices: Peter Dinklage’s (Game of Thrones) career has skyrocketed largely because Americans believe he is a British actor.

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