Monday, May 10

Yes, I have issues...

**I very much want to go on a work rant. This day not has gone well at all. Maybe I'll discuss it when less emotion is involved. So for now, I'll move on.

I have issues with accents. It's true. I really genuinely do!

Washingtonians don't have a strong speaking accent. I realise that having grown up here, I'm immune to any strangeness to our accent because it sounds normal to me. But I think in the scheme of accents out there, the Washingtonian accent is pretty flat.

There are a few words of exception, as others have pointed out to me:
--We sometimes put an "r" sound in the word "wa(r)sh" or "wa(r)shington"...weird, I know.
--We say rough instead of roof.
--We say pin instead of pen.
--We say beg instead of bag.

Whenever these funny pronunciations have been pointed out to me, I have modified my speech accordingly to be a "more proper" speaker. But where I consistently fumble is hearing other people's accents.

Whenever I hear another accent, be it from the south, the east, Canadian, British, Australian, etc, my mind goes into auto-pilot and I find myself mimicking their speech. It is so embarrassing! One moment I'm talking normal with my flat Washingtonian speech and the next moment I'm speaking with a twang or some other kind of accent. Flustered and blushing four shade of red, I try to stop speaking how my mind wants to speak but then my next few sentences come out half me and half accented!

There have been a couple times when people have looked at me quizzically as if they are trying to figure out if I am mocking them or if I genuinely talk like that.

Such an incident happened today. I called Kraft Foods, which is located in Tennessee. My main contact over there is a guy who comes from Minnesota or he does not have the Tennessean accent (Thank the good Lord! I'd be a mess otherwise!). But today, I called up another guy and got his voicemail. Hearing his voicemail was all it took and my message came out all twangy, sing-songy. I hung up, sighed, and rolled my eyes. I knew this guy had an accent and all prior mental calisthenics (I will not mimic Russell. I will speak like myself. I shall control my mind and speech.) went straight out the door the moment I heard his voicemail.

So if I ever have the pleasure of chatting with you and you have an accent, don't be surprised if I mimic you. It will be unintentional and it will likely be amusing but it will happen...because after all, I have issues...

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