Have you ever wondered about whether or not your favorite newscasters are just hiding their regional accents, or if they really don’t have any distinguishing inflections? In reality, they’re probably just using a neutral-sounding accent, known in the US as the General American accent.
The General American accent is the tone of choice for nightly newscasters across the States, and while it might sound like no accent at all, it actually has strong ties to regional accents in the Midwest. Specifically found in areas lying between eastern Nebraska and western Illinois, the General American accent has a home in the heartland, but it’s so ingrained in the American culture that it seems like it could be spoken anywhere, by any American.
Yet, standards are constantly changing and what’s normal one year may become outdated twenty years in the future. Think of the accents employed by actors in old movies; known as the Transatlantic accent, the slightly English-sounding way of speaking was the norm at the time but now sounds funny to our ears. Someday the General American could go the way of the Transatlantic accent, and will sound as out-of-place to the next generation as the Transatlantic sounds to us today.