My university’s psych department offered undergrads cash for research study participation. Many a starving student sold his guinea pig soul for textbook funds. Personally, I spent a painful half hour in a closet-like room overstuffed with furniture listening to recorded bird calls in exchange for a few greenbacks. If that study was trying to determine the effect of bird calls on prisoners locked in tiny claustrophobic rooms, let me tell you: they’re annoying. Very very annoying. All that to say, I found this Wall Street Journal article on paid online survey participation interesting, particularly the mock trial websites that help lawyers predict jury verdicts.
This blog focused on English language dialects is huge fun to browse through: http://dialectblog.com/. Now if only the BBC would read it and pay some actual Americans or Canadians to play North Americans in their movies. At least for this devoted American cousin, it’s a very distracting fingernails-on-chalkboard sensation every time a BBC Brit from the actors’ union exhales a bizarre cross-breed of Flat Nasal Southern 1930s Mobster New Yaaawwwk English Public School. The same could go for scriptwriters. I remember a Doctor Who episode starring a narcissistic delusional American teenage genius who screams “I’m clever! I’m clever! I’m clever!” Except…we wouldn’t use that phrase. Even the narcissistic delusional teen brats amongst us would say “I’m smart.”
It’s probably a two-way street – does Hollywood usually use Americans to play the part of Brits, Aussies, or Kiwis? Do victims across the pond cringe and dive for cover? Can’t say I’d be able to spot the difference unless the actor was familiar, just as English viewers may not realize when that “Louisianan” comes from London.
Someone else linked to this marriage article. The website/foundation is unfamiliar and I can’t vouch for it, but the article points are fantastic. Looking for a kick in the seat of the pants to help you dig in and work hard on your marriage? Take a ten minute read.