“I Have Never Met An Accent I didn’t Like!”

It’s Friday and all things are possible! Cambridge is alive in preparation for the Head of the Charles Regatta, bringing people world-wide for a two-day rowing competition.  The competitors are already on the river, reminding me with the rhythmic strokes of their oars that achievement comes with work, and in their case, muscle.

Stay tuned for more on the Head of the Charles on Monday complete with pictures and stories. For today’s post I will focus on an old post and the comments that came from it. Enjoy!

The post was Accent Angst from two weeks ago and struck a chord with readers. The comments were thoughtful, insightful and fun! So much so that they are worth a full post. So here you have it:

Pegi gave me inspiration for the title with her comment: “Actually I have never met (or heard) an accent I didn’t like. Accents are like magic and draw me in for a closer look.”

Lois commented “I have always thought accents were like the threads and colors in the tapestry of language, giving voice to our roots and influences along our way. Glad you shone the spotlight on the absurdity of ‘accentism.'”

This from Bettie “When JFK was President, a friend from Massachusetts said, “It sure is nice to have a President who doesn’t have an accent.” When Jimmy Carter was President, a fellow Georgian said, “It sure is nice to have a President who doesn’t have an accent.” I’ve met some brilliant people (read about others) from Alabama. And, I’ve met some dumber than dumb (read about those also) from our Eastern states. Years ago when my daughter-in-law from Scotland met my mother who had a real Southern drawl, I wondered how they’d understand each other. Afterwards I asked my mother, “Were you able to understand Fiona’s accent?” She replied, “What accent? We had no trouble whatsoever understanding each other.” Communication in whatever accent is described so beautifully by Lois’s comment above.”

My friend Sophie, who lives in Australia and blogs at Little Gumnut, married a man from France. She has experienced her share of accent angst which she echoes here: “And then you add to the mix all those mish kids coming ‘home’ from ‘living abroad’ who have a mishmash and don’t fit in anywhere and who become adept chameleons, changing their accents at will to fit in with whoever they are speaking to. I still start speaking American when I’m talking to an American and my family tell me I already sound like an Aussie after just 4 years. Who cares what accent people have??! What really really annoys me is when people become particularly obtuse about understanding someone with a ‘foreign accent’. Perhaps its a particularly British thing. Some friends after a few years of living with my French hubby still spoke to him in a slow loud voice or even worse, address all their conversation to me rather than him.”

Finally, a fellow blogger at TheRealSharon talked about a quiz she had just posted called “Yankee or Dixie“. Take a look and see how you fare!

So next time you hear an accent, think about the story behind the accent. I guarantee there is a story worth hearing that spans regions, worlds and continents left far behind.

Thanks to all for reading and keep up with the great feedback!

5 thoughts on ““I Have Never Met An Accent I didn’t Like!”

  1. I have been facilitating a class with Luz one of my co workers, she is originally from Columbia. It is a six week course and there have been some comments after the first week about her accent. Some of the attendees say they can’t always understand her when she is teaching. As we meet over the six weeks we share a lot of ourselves with the group and people really start look past her accent and love to see and hear from her every week. The transformation is really amazing. I definitely agree with the comment just give it a chance!

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  2. Thanks for mentioning me here!
    I really DID like that post and I agree that people should really give others with different accents a chance and hear their stories…I know that whenever I hear a different accent, it usually puts a smile on my face….I just love hearing a new accent or dialect that is new and different to my ear. Don’t you get tired of always hearing the same thing? :)

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  3. What an interesting post. I indeed love accents as well as dialects (regional, national, international) since it subtly tells me about a person’s whereabouts and often upbringing. Since I am from southern Germany, my dialect is Schwaebisch (to me it is the language of the heart, it is home); high German is the language I use when conducting business. I sense the same when I listen to a Texan, Georgian or other accents/dialects — it is the language of the heart for individuals growing up in the various areas.
    It saddens me to witness a push in education to erase accents/dialects. Are we hereby erasing the language of the heart?
    Petra

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  4. I love every one of those comments, so here’s a comment on the comments! I think I was born a mimic. I had a cousin who spoke really slowly and had a deep voice even as a little girl. After I spent a week with her, I came home talking exactly like she did. it drove my mother crazy for about a week until I relapsed back to “normal”. In airports or other public places, I love not only people watching, but even more eavesdropping on people speaking other languages, trying to figure out where they are from and what they are saying. In my life right now, I enjoy most of all my ESL students from China and Japan. It is such fun helping them to bridge the cultural gaps, and to understand America and Americans, as well as their pronunciation difficulties. The regatta sounds exciting, can’t wait to see the pictures.

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