I have always been fascinated by the countless variants of the English language. I don’t know if it’s a latent actor hidden in my psyche somewhere or what, but whenever we travel I purposely focus on listening for differences in the speech patterns of the native and try to file that information away for future use.
That being said, I love the Irish accent, especially the speech patterns and sounds found in Dublin. Since our visit to Ireland I shall always enjoy a tomato (tah-mah-toe) instead of a toe-may-toe.
When I was in college the first time around I took a speech and theatre class in preparation for becoming a music teacher. I think it may have been one of the only classes I never missed because I was fascinated with the way my professor spoke. She was from Toronto and sounded a lot like the CBC’s Barbara Budd. It was fascinating that while Toronto was only a few hours away, her accent and turn of phrase was considerably different from my own, which was somewhat different from my native Western New York classmates. I think I picked up a few of that professor’s speech patterns and they’ve stuck with me over the years.
When Earl first introduced me to his family it was then that I realized that he spoke nothing like the rest of them. Since he’s a Philadelphia boy through and through it took me by surprise that he didn’t sound the part. He doesn’t drink “wooder” like his brothers and sisters did. Apparently he purposely shook off the accent when he left home. I think that’s cool.
There are many accents that sound somewhat offensive to me. I’ll reserve the list for myself so I don’t offend anyone that may be reading this, but there are some places in the United States that in my mind downright mangle our language. As I’ve met fellow bloggers face to face over the years, I’ve noticed that many of them don’t sound like the region they live in. Perhaps I’m not the only one that is conscious of my accent and always trying to improve upon it.
I do find some phrasing quite delightful, for example, there was a sweet cashier at a Chick-Fil-A in central Georgia who responded with “My pleasure” instead of the pedestrian “You’re Welcome” when I said thank you for the meal she had just handed me. I don’t know why I found that charming but it was nonetheless. When Earl and I were having our photos taken with tourists last week (when we were in our kilts), I asked one woman where in the midwest she was from and I was guessing Wisconsin. The “o”s and the “don’t you knows” gave it away. The northern midwest accent is another that I find cute. And I always enjoy speaking with Canadians regardless of the region they call home, since they seem to approach the English language in a less-lazy fashion that we do here in the States.
As I look over this blog entry, I realize that regardless of the accent I’m using I tend to babble a lot.