Barnet Burns on Pax Britannica

3 thoughts on “Barnet Burns on Pax Britannica

  1. Hello Thomas,
    Thank-you very much, I loved your episode collaboration with Pax Brit. All aspects of style, content, reading, pacing etc – bar one – were excellent (as well as I might tell and infer from your discussion of sources), entertaining and engaging. That one, minor exception, may be involuntary or even unknown to you, but something I, regrettably, found unduly distracting: that you enunciate rhotic ‘r’s, akin to an American accent. Such things are fine of course for Americans and other rhotic accents, but it sounds very incongruous for a Kiwi. Whether what is probably ingrained habit can be amended (even should you wish to – one measly listener’s preferences are pretty inconsequential, amongst the great efforts that a podcast entails, and/or prehaps you’re satisfied that an authentic Kiwi accent has morphed to be somewhat rhotic), but I’d be an altogether happier listener were it so. Naturally, such feedback is merely a matter of – with all else being marvellous – there being nothing more constructive that I can envisage.
    Good fortune and congratulations, (please don’t feel compelled to reply – no doubt you are busy, and you might quite fairly hold the major suggestion of this note to be unreasonable, unwise or impracticable to resolve even if accepted)


    1. Kia ora Seamus,

      I’m glad you liked the episode! I really enjoyed researching it and bringing this reasonably unknown story to you! In regards to my accent, you may be surprised to hear that it is actually an authentic Kiwi accent. The rolling Rs (as they are called here) is due to my origins in Southland, where this trait is prominent and has been for almost our entire colonised history. This slight variation in the accent is well known in New Zealand and is actually what most people notice first about me if they are from the North Island. However in Southland, it is very normal and I wouldn’t be looked at twice for it. The short answer as to why only Southlanders have this is that that part of the country was primarily colonised by Scottish immigrants, unlike most of the country. The R stems from how the Scots kinda do the same thing and also resulted in a higher proportion of Presbyterians in the region too. So my accent hasn’t really morphed, its always been like this and there are many others like this so I’m afraid the Southland R will be staying! I’m actually surprised you picked up on it, I assume you are aren’t a Kiwi (otherwise you wouldn’t have written this haha) and non-Kiwis almost never pick up on it, so well done!

      Here is a neat article about a study from last year if you want to know more:

      Ngā mihi,

      History of Aotearoa New Zealand Podcast


  2. Sweet – cheers Thomas: a day in which I become a little less ignorant is a good day ). Thanks very much for the info – I think the only Southland resident I know is a transplanted Australian, so have indeed not been exposed to the authentic accent.
    N.B. love the interspersed Maori traditional tales – perhaps best as ~1 in 4 or 5 episodes or so (to make them a remarkable break), if I am to be so bold as to suggest what seems optimal for me.
    Many thanks again for your efforts.


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