The main reason that he sets Triple P's teeth on edge is that he sings in the most apalling and mannered fake American accent. He was born in Scotland and brought up in the North East of England. How did he develop that dreadful singing accent? This is not unusual for British (or Australian, Kylie Minogue also has a very strange "American" accent) pop singers. Knopfler's accent is just particularly weird; probably as he is trying to synthesise blues and country styles rather than just bland pop-Californian. So, although we enjoy his instrumental soundtrack to Local Hero, appreciate that he is a fine guitarist, good songwriter and interesting musician we just can't stand to listen to him singing!