This weekend it has been almost impossible to avoid Doctor Who. Even Google introduced a simple game to its home page for both Friday and Saturday. I don’t understand why they didn’t commemorate JFK’s assassination on Friday, but there was Doctor Who and a dalek … My regular weekend crossword was also full of references to the programme, but I didn’t expect it to invade my professional space. On Saturday morning my copy of the latest edition of JIPA (The Journal of the International Phonetic Association for the uninitiated) arrived, and on page 359, in a review of “English Accents and Dialects” by Hughes, Trudgill and Watts, Hannah Leach, of the University of Sheffield, has this:
“Rose: If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the North?
The Doctor: Lots of planets have a North!
(Series 1, Episode 1, 2005).”
Of course this is not really series 1, but the first in the new run. That was Christopher Ecclestone, but we’ve since had David Tennant, a Scot, playing The Doctor with a South East accent. Pedants would have wanted Rose to say “as if” instead of “like”.