Why does Boris Johnson seem posher on the radio than on TV?
September 23, 2019 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Obviously he’s posh on telly as well, but something about hearing the voice on its own makes his accent seem even more posh than when I can see him talking. So what’s that about? Linguists must have studied this sort of phenomenon, right?
posted by Bloxworth Snout to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
His hair and face and clothing?
posted by amanda at 9:01 AM on September 23, 2019 [38 favorites]

He looks like a cut-rate Harry Dunne from Dumb and Dumber, so when you're not seeing him and only hearing him, you are not experiencing the cognitive dissonance of seeing a person who looks like a doofus speak like a posh person.
posted by juniperesque at 9:08 AM on September 23, 2019 [9 favorites]

On parasocial identification and spotting lies, audibly: It's Easier to Spot a Lie on the Radio Than on TV. Your mental picture from hearing him is a mismatch with his weaponized visual dishevelment.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:22 AM on September 23, 2019 [7 favorites]

When hearing the same audio, like from a public speech, or when being interviewed for the medium?
If the latter, it's possible Radio 4 interviewers are posher than the average TV news ones, and he's subconsciously adjusting to match.
posted by w0mbat at 11:15 AM on September 23, 2019

Because he looks like a balloon with hay for hair.
posted by like_neon at 6:48 AM on September 24, 2019

Thanks everyone!
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:15 PM on September 25, 2019

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