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‘Tis the season for ‘Christmas Carol’

The holidays are just a few weeks away, so that means hundreds of theaters around the country are preparing productions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. If your theater is among them, Paul can help. Paul’s unique and comprehensive dialect study includes a reading of Dickens’ entire novella (divided into five sound files, one for each stave), plus in-depth dialect analysis of all 36 speaking characters. Check out our A Christmas Carol page for more information.

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Welcome David Crystal back to the podcast

David Crystal

The November edition of Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast features a discussion of Received Pronunciation (RP) with eminent linguist David Crystal, whom Paul first featured on the podcast back in June 2018. Listen to the latest episode here, or find it on your favorite podcast channel.

In addition to discussing the history of RP, Paul and David dive into the newest trends in British sounds, including what some refer to as the Estuary dialect.

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Let’s go to the movies!

Cameron Meier

Paul’s October In a Manner of Speaking podcast is all about movie dialects, and the guest is none other than Paul’s son, Cameron, who serves as vice president of Paul Meier Dialect Services. But, more importantly for this conversation, he’s also a film critic for The Orlando Weekly, Euclid Media and MeierMovies.com. Check it out here, or on your favorite podcast channel.

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‘Secret’ sale on ADSS iTunes ebook

To benefit college students starting their fall semester, we’re running a “secret” sale on the iTunes ebook version of Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, which features all 24 accents and dialects contained in the print book plus all the sound files found on the CDs. And the ebook version contains an additional dialect: Jamaican. It’s 35 percent off, which brings the price from $99.99 down to $64.99.

Though the sale is intended for students, anyone can take advantage of it. So the secret is out!

The sale runs through September 6. Click here or simply search your iTunes iBooks store for Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen.

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Thank you, VASTA!

The annual conference for the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) is underway in Orlando, Florida. VASTA honored Paul this year with its Lifetime Distinguished Member award. Thank you to VASTA President Michael Barnes and the entire VASTA board and membership! The conference also served as a great networking opportunity for IDEA’s editors.

Paul was unable to accept the award in person, so his son, PMDS Vice President and IDEA Executive Editor Cameron Meier, accepted for him. (Cameron is pictured on the left, below, with Michael Barnes.) Cameron then introduced Paul, who thanked VASTA in prerecorded video message, which you can watch here.

 

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VASTA conference set for August 4-7

The annual conference of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) will be held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Orlando, Florida, on August 4-7. VASTA and IDEA, which Paul founded, have always been closely linked, and we encourage you to attend if you are an actor, singer or voiceover artist, or if you are simply interested in the spoken word, voice and speech training, linguists, or dialects and accents.

If you are a member of VASTA, the conference costs $350. For non-members, it’s $450. If you are a student or retiree, the rate is $225. One-day passes (for August 5 and 6) are also offered for $150.

For more information, visit Vasta.org/Orlando.

Also of interest to those in the performing arts, the annual conference for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) will also be held in Orlando, right after the VASTA conference. It will be August 7-11 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, adjacent to Walt Disney World. For more information on the ATHE conference, see ATHE.org/page/19conf_home.

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Amazon Prime Days are here!

Amazon Prime Days are July 15 and 16. If you’re thinking of purchasing one of Paul’s products this summer, now is the best time if you’re an Amazon Prime member. All of Paul’s print products that are available on this site are also for sale on Amazon. Click here for the full library of dialect and accent books/CDs.  Though we’re not currently offering any sales of our own, Amazon Prime Days allow Prime members to save on shipping by grouping Paul’s products with other items (many of which might be offering special sales). Depending upon what you’re shopping for, it could be the most economical way to shop instead of purchasing a single one of Paul’s books by itself.

Happy shopping!

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Dictionary of American Regional English

If you haven’t heard of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), let me recommend it to you highly.

Joan Hall, DARE’s executive editor, will be my guest on In a Manner of Speaking in August. She has just told me that Harvard University Press is offering a 25% discount on the digital version of DARE until the end of June for all organizations and institutions. If your library has not purchased it, now is the time to urge that it do so. (There is a 30-day free trial.) Visit Harvard.edu for details.

And an individual subscription to digital DARE is available for $49 per year. See Harvard.edu.

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Break a leg, Dylan!

Dylan Paul

Break a leg and best wishes to Dylan Paul (our wonderful webmaster) who opens in Broadway’s Moulin Rouge! Previews begin June 28. This is Dylan’s second Broadway outing; Cabaret was his first. I’m extremely proud of my former student and wish him a long run on Broadway!

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March podcast discusses Caribbean voices

Paul’s podcast this month addresses the culture, language, voices, and dialects of the Caribbean, with his special guests Elizabeth Montoya-Stemann (an IDEA associate editor from the Edna Manley College in Kingston, Jamaica) and Dylan Paul (Broadway actor, voice and speech expert, and IDEA’s webmaster and special consultant). Check it out here.

For all of Paul’s podcasts, visit this page, which also contains links to the free podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

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Introducing February podcast

David Alan Stern

Paul’s latest In a Manner of Speaking podcast is now online, available here and also on iTunes and Stitcher. This month’s podcast focuses on releasing the power of the text. Paul’s guest is David Alan Stern, one of the longest-established and most popular publishers of dialect help for actors, and professor emeritus of the University of Connecticut. Paul and David discuss the language arts as they impact the spoken word in all its manifestations and delve into topics such as eloquence, emphasis, public speaking, oratory, recitation, rhetorical skills, verse speaking, and vocal variety. For information about Professor Stern, visit https://learnaccent.com/about/.

For a complete library of previous episodes, click here.

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Congratulations to Mitch Poulos

Photo courtesy IMDB

Congratulations to Mitch Poulos. One of Paul’s dialect clients, Mitch has a guest-starring role on Blue Bloods tomorrow night (January 11). The drama series, which airs on CBS at 10 p.m. EST, is in its ninth season, and this is the 12th episode.

In other news, Mitch just filmed a national Trulicity commercial and is appearing in a film titled When We Grow Up, which stars Catherine Curtin and is currently making the festival rounds. Mitch also recently performed a supporting role in the film Nanay Ko, which is scheduled to be released next year.

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Looking for a last-minute holiday gift?

Still stumped for that perfect gift for the actor in your life? Don’t forget that the holiday sale for Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen continues through January 1. The print version (with CDs) of ADSS is available at 25% off. That’s just $74.95 instead of the usual $99.95. Click here to order.

The iTunes ebook version is also 25% off! To purchase that, search iTunes’ ebooks/iBooks store for “Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen” or go here. The ebook compilation gives you the same material that’s found in the print book (with CDs), PLUS an extra dialect: Jamaican. The book is compatible with Apple mobile devices and your Mac computer, but not your Windows computer. If you need an accent or dialect ebook for use with your Windows computer, you will need to order an individual Windows ebook (one accent or dialect) from this page for $24.95.

Happy holidays!

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Don’t miss Aaron Murphy in ‘Arcadia’

Aaron Murphy in “Arcadia”

Congratulations to Paul’s long-time client, Aaron Murphy, who just opened in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, a production of Shotgun Players in Berkeley, California. Aaron and Paul had a great session finding Bernard Nightingale’s “idiolect,” or dialect specific to his character. In this case, it was the precise shade of Received Pronunciation (RP) needed. (For more on idiolects, see Paul’s latest podcast.)

Here’s what The San Francisco Chronicle had to say: “Aaron Murphy as latter-day Byron scholar Bernard Nightingale makes his character’s undisciplined ideas, his parade of aphorisms and allusions, his casual hauteur, his even more casual lust for every woman in his field of vision into a one-man fireworks display of gesticulations. Everything reels him, strikes him, hobbles him, springs him back to life with preposterously redoubled vigor. He gives his scene partners gifts, making an exchange meaningful and important not through what Bernard initiates, but by how he witnesses, absorbs and reflects what others put forth.”

Aaron’s opening follows on his recent success as Leontes in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at the Livermore Shakespeare Festival in northern California. Paul and Aaron’s work centered on the heightened language.

Aaron: “Paul’s coaching is so valuable it’s become an integral part of my show preparation. For Winter’s Tale, I met with Paul well before rehearsals started so that I was going in with text clarity, so that the directors had me at my best from day one.”

Thanks, Aaron, and best of luck with your current run of Arcadia, which continues through January 6.

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Congrats to Julia Whelan!

Julia Whelan

Congratulations to Julia Whelan! She recently won a Voice Arts Award, from the Society of Voice Arts. Julia won in the category of Audiobook Narration: Author Performance, Best Voiceover, for My Oxford Year.

Julia was a guest on the March episode of Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast. Listen to that podcast episode here. And check out Julia’s book here.

In accepting the award, Julia said, “Thanks to the brilliant Paul Meier for saving me when I went to him and said, ‘I’ve written myself into a corner with this book. I’ve got 15 characters in need of regional British accents, and I can do, maybe, three.’ And he sorted me out.”

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Learn about idiolects in latest podcast

Amy Stoller

Dialect coaches spend a huge amount of their time cataloguing dialects and accents by geographic area. So how do idiolects fit into our understanding of an individual’s speech patterns? Find out in the December edition of Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast. This month Paul interviews Amy Stoller. In addition to being a renowned dialect coach and designer, Amy is an IDEA associate editor and creator of the Stoller System. See her website to appreciate the full range of her work.

To hear this month’s podcast, click here, or visit the podcast on iTunes by searching for “Paul Meier’s In a Manner of Speaking.” An RSS feed is also available.

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Holiday sale now underway!

Our annual holiday sale of Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen began during the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend and will continue through January 1. During that time, the print version (with CDs) of ADSS will be available at 25% off. That’s just $74.95 instead of the usual $99.95. Click here to order.

The iTunes ebook version is also 25% off! To purchase that, search iTunes’ ebooks/iBooks store for “Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen” or go here. The ebook compilation gives you the same material that’s found in the print book (with CDs), PLUS an extra dialect: Jamaican. The book is compatible with Apple mobile devices and your Mac computer, but not your Windows computer. If you need an accent or dialect ebook for use with your Windows computer, you will need to order an individual Windows ebook (one accent or dialect) from this page for $24.95.

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‘ADSS’ holiday sale coming soon

Starting the day after Thanksgiving (November 23) and running through January 1, we’ll be offering Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen at 25% off. That’s just $74.95 instead of the usual $99.95. You can purchase the printed book (with CDs) here. The iTunes ebook version will also be discounted by 25 percent, but to purchase that, you will need to visit iTunes.

If you prefer to purchase the book on Amazon, go here. Although we are unable to offer the holiday discount on Amazon, keep in mind that Amazon has announced it will offer free shipping in certain markets, which could save you up to $13 in shipping costs. And if you’re in Europe, purchasing the book on Amazon.co.uk might be your cheapest option. So regardless of your purchase method, Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen is going to be a great bargain for you during this holiday season!

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October podcast now online

Check out October’s “In a Manner of Speaking” podcast. Paul’s guest this month is Jim Johnson, who is an IDEA associate editor, a professor and director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance, and founder of AccentHelp. Paul and Jim talk about dialects and accents, dialect-sample gathering, dialects on stage and in film, and accents and dialects in life.

Jim Johnson

You can listen to the October podcast and all the previous podcasts here. They are also available on iTunes. And you can subscribe by RSS feed on this website.

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One day remains on ADSS iTunes discount

Just one day remains for the special sale on the iTunes ebook version of Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen. The $59.99 price will revert to its usual $99.99 tomorrow (September 5). The iTunes ebook features all 24 accents and dialects contained in the print book plus all the sound files found on the CDs. And the ebook version contains an additional dialect: Jamaican. Although we intend to offer sales on this and other products in the future, this is the LAST time we will be able to offer ADSS at this low price. Click here or simply search your iTunes iBooks store for Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen.

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For our customers in Europe

If you’re in Europe (and especially England), we have good news for you. As you probably know, many non-European businesses were booted off Amazon.co.uk earlier this year by mistake because of new European tax legislation. But the issues have been resolved, and we are now again able to sell on Amazon.co.uk! Ordering through that site is by far the cheapest option if you want to purchase the four print/CD products that we sell there: Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, Dialects of the British Isles and Ireland, The Standard British English Dialect, and The General American Dialect. Though you can purchase those items from this site directly and also through Amazon.com, buying them on Amazon.co.uk will save you lots of money and time in shipping. Thanks again for your patience while we resolved this issue.

Please keep in mind that these products are also available as both Windows/Mac ebooks and iTunes ebooks. And, of course, if you order them in that format, you get them immediately and without having to pay shipping. For all the products we offer, see our main product page.

 

 

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September podcast now online

Paul’s latest In a Manner of Speaking podcast is now online on the main podcast page. September’s edition is all about phonetics and the weird way words are spelled in the English language. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the podcast, via RSS feed, you can do so by clicking “subscribe” in the widget on the right. The podcast is also available on iTunes.

This podcast also features a PDF transcript. We highly recommend downloading that, so you can follow the phonetics. It is available here.

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‘ADSS’ iTunes ebook on sale

To benefit college students starting their fall semester, we’re running a special sale on the iTunes ebook version of Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, which features all 24 accents and dialects contained in the print book plus all the sound files found on the CDs. And the ebook version contains an additional dialect: Jamaican. It’s 40 percent off, which brings the price from $99.99 down to $59.99. Although we intend to offer sales on this and other products in the future, this is the LAST time we will be able to offer ADSS at this low price. The sale runs through September 5. Click here or simply search your iTunes iBooks store for Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen.

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July podcast: Happy birthday, IDEA!

The July edition of Paul’s “In a Manner of Speaking” podcast has just been released, and it’s all about IDEA! Specifically, the podcast celebrates the 20th anniversary of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), which Paul founded back in the summer of 1998. Check it out on the main podcast page, or on the individual episode page. And don’t forget to subscribe. (If you previously subscribed to the RSS feed, please be advised that we upgraded the feed. So we strongly suggest deleting your old feed and subscribing to the new one to avoid broken links. You can also now link the podcast to your iTunes.)

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June podcast features David Crystal

Paul’s new In a Manner of Speaking podcast for the month of June has just been posted. This month Paul welcomes David Crystal, one of the world’s most famous linguists and the leader of the modern movement we call OP: Original Pronunciation of Shakespeare’s works. David explains the fascinating linguistic subfield called Pragmatics. Click here to listen to it on the main podcast page. An RSS feed is also available.

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David Crystal debuts revised ‘Shakespeare’s Words’

Renowned linguist and Shakespeare expert David Crystal — with whom Paul has worked extensively on Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation — has just debuted his revised Shakespeare’s Words website, along with his son and fellow Shakespeare guru Ben Crystal. Congrats to both David and Ben on this wonderful web tool. The book version was published in 2002 by Penguin Books and is available for purchase here.

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Check out the April podcast

The April In a Manner of Speaking podcast is now online (with an RSS feed coming soon). In this episode, Paul talks with guests Sera-Lys McArthur (a mixed-race Canadian actress) and Eric Armstrong (professor of theatre at York University in Toronto). While the speech of indigenous people (particularly those of North America) is the broad topic, Eric and Paul also talk at length about the politics and ethics of dialect work in theatre and film, and of the gathering of dialect samples from indigenous speech donors.

 

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Welcome to our new (and improving) site

Welcome to the (slightly) new PaulMeier.com. As you can see, we’ve made some visual and functional changes to improve the site. We’ve also moved to a much better (and faster) server. Most of the visual changes were made to simply keep up to date with modern website themes and guarantee the functionality of our site moving into the future. The structure and navigation is virtually identical to the previous site, but you will now notice that the Shakespeare and OP page is located under the “Coaching” tab on the menu bar.

Speaking of the menu bar, we’re still improving that for mobile devices. We’re confident that when we’re finished in the coming days, the site will look much better than it did on your phone and tablet.

Thanks to our webmaster, Dylan Paul, who designed both this site and the previous version.

Perhaps the best news is that our free IPA charts (our most popular feature) can now be seen and used in all browsers. Because they incorporate Flash, they had previously been unviewable in certain browsers, such as Firefox.

Thanks for your patience as we make some final corrections and tweaks in the coming days. And if you’re one of Paul’s clients, you can rest assured that your private, password-protected page will always be secure and user-friendly. If you encounter any missing files or outdated pages over the next couple of days, we’d ask that you bear with us as we make the final adjustments. But, of course, feel free to e-mail us at Paul@paulmeier.com if you have questions or concerns.

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Paul begins monthly podcast

February marks the beginning of Paul’s new (free) monthly podcast. Titled In a Manner of Speaking, it will address just about any topic related to the spoken word and will often feature special guests talking with Paul about the subject of the month. This month’s edition features a brief introduction to the podcast itself, followed by a discussion of Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation (the dialect of English spoken in the late 1500s and early 1600s). Check it out here and subscribe to our RSS feed!

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Paul reflects on his life and career

Paul was recently invited, along with other leading figures in the voice and speech world, to write an essay titled My Journey to Now, for The Voice and Speech Review. You can read that article here. Paul talks about his entire adult life and his career, including what inspired him to found Paul Meier Dialect Services (PMDS) and the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).

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Staging “A Christmas Carol”? Paul can help.

Regardless of which version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol your theatre is staging, Paul can help! His unique and comprehensive dialect study includes a reading of Dickens’ entire novella (divided into five sound files, one for each stave), plus in-depth dialect analysis of all 36 speaking characters. For $349, your entire cast have access to more than 40 streaming-audio files for the duration of your rehearsals and performances. Click here for details and to listen to free examples of Paul’s recordings.