Wednesday, January 7, 2009


What part of the country do you live?

Is there a particular accent? Do you pronounce certain words differently? Do you call items by different names, i.e., soda, pop, etc.?

FYI – Contrary to some people’s beliefs, everyone that lives below the Mason/Dixon lines does not sound like Ellie Mae from the Beverly Hillbillies or Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls.

We are all a product of our surroundings and those we spend time with. My James is a native New Yorker, and thank God he does not have a New York accent.

A friend and I were talking about this last night, and I used the example of my ex-boyfriend, who was born and raised in Jamaica. He moved to New Jersey when he was in high school, and he graduated from Morehouse in Atlanta. To hear him, you would never know he was from Jamaica UNTIL he got around other persons from the Caribbean and OMG his accent would be so strong, I could not understand him.

The first time I witnessed it, my mouth dropped open. He could switch between accents so easily he did not even realize he was doing it. After a while, it was like having my own side show act, I’d have him call his family so my family could hear his accent. I know he shook his head every time I did it too.

I remember when we moved back South after being in New England for two years, people would say “You sound funny.” I’d tell them, “No, you do.”

Take a moment and think of the voices you hear everyday. It is amazing how even though we hear all kinds of sounds, we can so easily recognize the sounds of different individuals. A prime example – during the holidays when Cranberry Christmas came on, two words and I knew the narrator was Barry without even looking at the credits. Another example, I answer the phone at work and hear my name mispronounced and I know I don’t want to talk to the fool on the other end.

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