All About Accents

June 23, 2010

Accents do vary from place to place, of course! They are formed by the area of the world a person is born and raised in. Also who a person mainly hangs out with, for long periods of time of their lives, plays a huge factor on how an accent is formed. But the funny thing is, it is VERY possible for a person to evolve into another accent completely, in spite on where they were born and where they grew up. It happens! :-p

For my example, I was born and grew up in Philadelphia, aka: Philly. And this metropolitan city has  it’s own unique accent, just like any other city or town. I grew up with a Philly accent, without even knowing or realizing it, until I’ve talked with people who didn’t live in my city or state. It’s odd, as everyone has an accent, everywhere and anywhere in the world. But we don’t realize it, or get told so, until we’re around others who don’t live in the same state or country as we do. For me, I’m speaking normally and average, but to someone out of state or country, my accent is view as exotic. ;-)

But, in my teens, I began to gain a lot of friends with English accents, as they were from the UK or currently living in England (communicating with me, via web-cam). I fell into that phenomenon of picking up the English accent, not on purpose, but purely by accident! It wasn’t a conscious choice, but it simply just happened one day. After the friendships faded with those in the UK, I did gain back my original Philly-accent. But, parts of the English accent is still stuck with me. It comes and goes, especially when my guard is down, and I’m not consciously trying to suppress the habit. :-/

It is also a habit that shows up in my writing, OFTEN. Mainly because I did have some formal teaching in writing, and most formal teaching is in the style of an English or “posh” accent, by default. Unfortunately, people tend to judge an accent negatively… :-(

With my mixed up accent, created by nature and nurture, I often get the attitude from others accusing that I believe that I am better than others. I do not!  But with the different way and sound of an posh accent, people get the idea that I’m stuffy, arrogant, and self-serving. And I have to laugh, because if anyone knew me -really knew me- they would know I’m the direct opposite of that! :-p

I guess, as humans, people will always judge another on something stupid. It can’t be helped. But, I tend to like ALL accents and I don’t have any negative judgments on any. I do have some judgments, however, though they’re highly positive (for example: “Country accents are WAY sexy! So, people who speak with a twang are honest and sexy people!”). But regardless, it’s  still bias judgments, which have gotten me in trouble in the past too. :-/

I’ve learn to try to ignore accents now and get to know each person, as an individual, just like I would like to be treated! I hate that people misjudge me, due to my English accent habit. And I wouldn’t like anyone to judge me on my Philly-accent either! I rather a person judge me on ME and not the way I pronounce or write down words. :-p



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