Last night I finished watching HBO’s superb John Adams mini-series, which is based on some Pulitzer Prize-winning book that I’ve never read. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney are typically fantastic and I learned quite a bit more about the American Revolution.
However, aside from so much of the dialog being delivered sotto voce that by the second episode I had to turn on the captioning, I was even more annoyed by the lack of contractions, a stilted phenomenon usually reserved for space aliens. “Do not weep for me, Mother.” I can totally buy that Americans still had British accents fifty years after the Revolution, but seriously, nobody said can’t, won’t, or don’t back then? Help me out.