Thursday, September 18, 2014
Are these the world's sexiest accents?
The Scots are talking a lot this week -- perhaps you've heard a little something about an independence referendum -- and that makes us happy.
That's because we like how the Scots talk.
Not necessarily what they say -- just the way they say it.
Imagine the way your Scottish pals might pronounce "pour" and "poor."
The Scottish accent is like no other.
Then again, neither is any other accent.
It's estimated that there are nearly 7,000 languages on earth.
That's nearly 7,000 different ways to traipse clumsily through the English language -- or to sex it up like an old Justin Timberlake song.
Of course, no accent is sexy when it's strong enough to crush a beer can.
Which means not all accents are created equal.
You choose: Hottest accents
All of this got us talking this week about which accents we like most.
Below is the list of sexiest brogues we came up with by deploying an admittedly unscientific methodology -- meaning we asked around the office, which does at least account for more nationalities than colors in the M&M universe.
Our also-rans included Australian (as appealing as warm Foster's to some, tantalizingly exotic to others) and Japanese (the language of repressed salarymen is also strangely designed for pillow talk).
Because when it comes to accents, there are no absolutes.
Except that the one that makes you cringe is absolutely horrible.
You know which one we're talking about.
Famous tongues: Fernando Lamas, Gabriela Sabatini
A historical refuge for Spaniards, Italians and Germans, the hyper-libidinous South Ameripean melting pot of Argentina has cultivated a proud, pouty tone.
With its own pronunciation of Spanish letters ("ll" sounds like "shh") and its own words ("you" is "vos"), this is a dialect that's hard to get. (Or at least plays that way.)
Sounds like: A tightly tuned guitar of G-strings strummed by a lamb shank
Famous tongues: Tony Jaa, Araya 'Chompoo' Hargate
With five tones comprising their native speech, the traffickers of this often fragile accent turn any language into a song of seduction.
Thai is largely monosyllabic, so multi-beat foreign words get extra emphases right up until the last letter, which is often left off, leaving the listener wanting more.
Sounds like: R-rated karaoke
Famous tongues: Nicki Minaj, Billy Ocean
For fetishists of oddball sexuality, the Caribbean island of Trinidad offers an undulating, melodic gumbo of pan-African, French, Spanish, Creole and Hindi dialects that, when adapted for English, can be sex on a pogo stick.
Sounds like: A rubber life raft bobbing on a sea of steel drums
Go Brazil? Sounds good to us.
10. Brazilian Portuguese
Famous tongues: Alice Braga, Anderson Silva
Perhaps owing to its freedom from French influence, the Brazilian Portuguese accent has a more colorful, puerile flair than its coarser European counterpart.
The resulting yowl of drawn-out vowels reveals a flirty freedom of spirit that suggests a permanent vacation.
Sounds like: The near, then far, then near again hum of a low-wattage vacuum cleaner that runs on dance sweat
9. U.S. Southern
Famous tongues: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lawrence
There's nothing sexy about being in a hurry, and you could clock the growth rate of grass with the honeyed drawl of a Southern beau or belle.
Sounds like: Molasses taking a smoking break
8. Scottish Famous tongues: Ewan McGregor, Rose Leslie
Some of the vocal strangulations heard echoing around Glasgow are registered as a danger to shipping, but in less industrial corners of Scotland melodic voices capable of ranging a full octave in a single "aye" tumble like soft rain on warm bagpipes.
These are gentle, knee-melting tones that conjure cozy firesides and beguiling knitwear before their sudden swing to reproach leaves us whimpering for more.
Sounds like: A stroked tartan cat
Just lay off the leprechaun jokes and you'll be fine.
Famous tongues: Colin Farrell, Andrea Corr
Valued slightly more in men than in women, the Irish brogue is a lilting, lyrical articulation that's charming, if not exotic.
Fluid and uplifting, it can swing from vulnerable to threatening over the course of a sentence, restoring your faith in the world again ... right before it stabs you with a broken bottle top.
Sounds like: A marauding pixie
Famous tongues: King Sunny Ade, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
Dignified, with just a hint of willful naivete, the deep, rich "oh's" and "eh's" of Naija bend the English language without breaking it, arousing tremors in places other languages can't reach.
Sounds like: The THX intro with teeth
Keira Knightley knows how to speak down to us just the way we like being spoken down to.
5. Queen's English
Famous tongues: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley
Few accents promise the upward nobility of the Queen's English.
It's a take on the language that sets hearts devoted to James Bond and Hermione Granger aflutter.
And, should the speaker fail to slake your most wanton desires, eh, at least you'll learn something.
Sounds like: A crisply ironed shirt playing a harp
Famous tongues: Petra Nemcova, Jaromir Jagr
Like Russian, without the nettlesome history of brutal, iron-fisted despotism, Czech is a smoky, full-bodied vocal style that goes well with most meats.
Murky and mysterious, the Bohemian tone is equal parts carnal desire and carnival roustabout.
Sounds like: Count Dracula, secret agent
Famous tongues: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz
Sensual and beckoning, but with the passion to unleash hell kept just barely restrained, Castilian is like a dialectic Hoover Dam.
But then there's the lisp.
Tender, vulnerable and cute as a baby's hangnail -- no one owns the "th" sound formed by tongue and teeth like those who speak the language of Cervantes.
Sounds Like: An outboard motor on Lake Paella
Famous tongues: Marion Cotillard, Jean Reno
The come-hither condescension and fiery disinterest of the French tongue remains paradoxically erotic.
Sounds like: A 30-year-old teenager
How you say ... "tall, dark and handsome?"
Famous tongues: Monica Bellucci, Alessandro Del Piero
Raw, unfiltered, the Italian accent is a vowelgasm that reflects the spectrum of Italic experience: the fire of its bellicose beginnings ... the romance of the Renaissance ... the dysfunction of anything resembling a government since Caesar.
Insatiable, predatory and possessive, this is sex as a second language.
Sounds like: A Ferrari saxophone
Which is your favorite accent?