In a Manner of Speaking
In a Manner of Speaking
Paul Meier
A podcast on the spoken word
Episode 52 (How To Do Accents)
Paul's guests for May 2022 are Edda Sharpe and Jan Haydn Rowles, authors of "How To Do Accents" and leading figures in the world of voice, speech, and dialects. The three discuss dialects in the English National Opera revival of "My Fair Lady" (coached by Edda) and the film "Belfast" (coached by Jan). They also engage in a larger discussion of dialects and accents, including the ones featured in those productions: Received Pronunciation (RP), Northern Irish, and Cockney.
May 1
46 min
Episode 51 (Celebrating the First 50)
The April 2022 episode is a celebration of the first 50 episodes of "In a Manner of Speaking," the podcast Paul began in February 2018. Reminisce with Paul about some of his favorite episodes and join him in thanking all his guests -- and YOU for listening. And, as always, visit the main podcast page ( for more info. (Bach's Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) is courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)
Apr 1
17 min
Episode 50 (The Power of Voice)
Paul’s guest for March 2022 is Denise Woods, a successful Hollywood dialect coach, theatre professor at the California Institute of the Arts, and author of "The Power of Voice." The two discuss topics related to dialect coaching, including audiobook narration, accent modification or "reduction," and coaching Black actors.
Mar 1
38 min
Episode 49 (You Are What You Speak)
Paul's guest for February 2022 is Lane Greene, language columnist and Spain correspondent for "The Economist." This month's episode takes its title from one of Lane's books, "You Are What You Speak," and Paul and Lane tackle a variety of topics related to linguistics, accents, and the myths, fears, and hopes surrounding language. For more information on Lane, visit
Feb 1
41 min
Episode 48 (Pitch)
Paul's first 2022 guests are Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher of “Vocal Process." The three discuss pitch, specifically the extremes of the human voice as it relates to both speaking and singing. For more information, including biographies of Gillyanne and Jeremy, and links to the full recordings excerpted here, visit the page devoted to this month's podcast on
Jan 1
53 min
Episode 47 (Teaching Dialects and Grammar)
Paul's final guest for 2021 is Willem Hollmann, who has been generating headlines with his thoughts on how we teach grammar and dialects. A professor of linguistics and associate dean in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at Lancaster University in England, Hollmann encourages a more robust discussion of regional English dialects and grammar in English education. But his views have also been distorted by the media, so in this month's podcast, Paul and Willem set the record straight. All dialects are equal, but are some more equal than others? Find out by listening to the December podcast. To learn more about Paul's guest, visit
Dec 1, 2021
39 min
Episode 46 (Highly Irregular)
For the November 2021 podcast, Paul discusses the peculiarities of the English language with Arika Okrent, linguist and author of "Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme." For more information on Arika, visit
Nov 1, 2021
36 min
Episode 45 (Read Me a Story)
Paul's guest for October 2021 is professional audiobook narrator Elizabeth Wiley. The two talk about everything related to the art of audiobook narration and read from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and Andromeda Romano-Lax's "Annie and the Wolves," which is available at For more on Elizabeth, visit
Oct 1, 2021
58 min
Episode 44 (Let's Talk)
For the September 2021 podcast, Paul and his guest, legendary linguist David Crystal, converse about ... conversation itself.
Sep 1, 2021
54 min
Episode 43 (Heightened Language and Black Playwrights)
For the August 2021 podcast, Paul discusses heightened language and Black playwrights with Professor Jacqueline Springfield of Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn about Professor Springfield, please visit
Aug 1, 2021
42 min
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