Weather anchor Kate Bilo uses standard English to communicate clearly. AP Photo

Weather anchor Kate Bilo uses standard English to communicate clearly. AP Photo

Say What?

Posted: September 1, 2015

Every day, the weather changes. Some days are sunny. Others have rain. Some days are hot. Others are cold. But you might notice that one thing never changes: the accent weathermen use. Did you know that weathermen and other announcers train their voices so they all sound the same?

People who work in broadcasting move around a lot. In each new place, viewers have a different way of talking. A broadcaster’s speech needs to be easily understood by everyone. For them, that means sounding like they come from no place in particular.

Actors also study something called “Standard American.” That means they learn to speak simply. If you listen to them act, you’ll never think, “Oh, she’s from Georgia!” or, “He sounds like he came from Boston!” This helps keep the audience on track. Audience members stop thinking about the actor. Instead, they feel involved with the drama he or she is acting out.

Everyone changes the way they talk based on who they’re talking to. That’s usually a good thing. It can show that we believe language is about serving others. In I Corinthians 14, Paul says that each language in the world matters. But if one person cannot understand another, it does no good!