Faking an English accent has always been an American pastime, whether Americans are trying to sound fancy or just making fun of a culture that's foreign and different. But how can this be achieved over a medium without voices? Well, it's simple if you follow these fun and easy rules!
1. Be an American
This is a necessity. No matter how hard English people try, they cannot fake an English accent, just like Americans cannot fake an American one.
2. Do not change your spelling habits
It is impossible to say how many promising English accents were ruined by overly impetuous chatters who decide to spell out words how the English pronounce them. That is pure stupidity! Americans do not spell cabinet 'cabnit'. Think about it.
3. Learn the words that the English spell differently
Here's a whole Entry on British-English spelling. Or, if you are lazy, follow this rule of thumb. If a word is more than five letters long and contains the letter 'o' place a 'u' directly after the 'o1'. Also, substitute 're' for 'er2'.
4. Know the common words that the English substitute for real words
- 'Trousers' are substituted for 'pants'
- 'pants' for 'underwear'
- 'lift' for 'elevator'
- 'pub' for 'bar'
- 'football' for 'soccer'
- 'flat' for 'apartment'
- 'full stop' for 'period'
5. Use the word 'w**k' and 'w****' as expletives
Real English people (apparently) never do, but it sounds good. You can also pick up some other derogatory English slang, calling someone a 'plonker' for instance.
6. Do not back down
The person confronting you could be faking an accent as well. Tell them to 'Bloody Sod Off!' - that works quite well.
7. If all else fails, pretend you are drunk
They will not find this odd.
8. Use Cockney Rhyming Slang
You will never see someone who speaks Cockney rhyming slang online so you can feel safe to use it freely. To type in 'Cockney', simply misspell a great deal of words and speak gibberish3. If you do find a speaker of Cockney, refer to rule seven.
9. Watch Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch
Repeat until you understand what all the characters are saying4.
10. Say 'really' and 'you know?'
This is not stereotypical, but is actually used quite commonly. Do not say 'ya know?' You're trying to sound English, not Canadian.
11. Address the audience in your greetings
Call them 'mate', even if you do not wish to mate with them, 'luv', even if you do not love them, or 'guv'nor'5, even if they are not an elected official.
12. Find a good English-sounding screen name
If you cannot think of one, use a fairly unknown English actor, or, better yet, a character they play. Or, shorten a normal sounding name and add 'Z' at the end, ie Gary becomes Gaz, Darren becomes Daz.
13. Last but not least, do not say Cheerio!
This a major faux pas, so avoid it at all cost. No real Englishman has ever said 'cheerio' this century. And those not in this century rarely use chatrooms. You will get caught. So avoid this, no matter how tempting.
Well, that's about everything. Follow these rules and you should have every American believing you are as English as 'tea and crumpets'.