Accents fascinate me because they are so varied. Even in America, we have a number of recognized dialects (accents) in America but there are definitely even more that aren't documented.
Some of you may be wondering why in the world I'm blogging about this...because it is a weird topic to write about...unless you are obsessed with it like I am. There have been three distinct phonological instances recently that got me thinking about this kind of stuff that I want to share with you. Ready?
1. I met a new neighbor over the weekend and after greeting her and introducing myself I told her we'd just moved from the next street over (in the same neighborhood). She asked me where I was originally from and then quickly said, "Obviously not from the South...we're from Wisconsin and Ohio too."
I was both saddened and slightly happy with this. You see, my people are always stereotyped as being dumb, idiotic, slow, etc. if they have a strong Southern accent. There are lots of us that are indeed smart, sassy and Southern. But the Southern accent, unfortunately, usually comes with negative connotations. With that, I've made an effort to not sound like the world's biggest redneck when I speak...especially when I speak publicly or in a professional setting. But I was saddened because I don't want to "lose" so much of my accent that people don't know where I'm from. Now, sometimes when I'm angry or on the phone (apparently) I have a very strong accent, but still it makes me a little sad that someone couldn't instantly place me as being a native Carolinian once I started talking.
2. Along the same lines, I've recently come across two people who have CHANGED their accents. They were born/grew up in one place and now live someone else and have adopted that accent. I can understand this to some degree because I have a tendency to assume the speech patterns and colloquialisms of those around me at times. But it is so intriguing to me that the accent you've had for 20, 30 or 40 years can change once you leave that area.
3. Finally, over the last few weeks I've been binge-watching Mob Wives on Hulu Plus and I'm in the seasons where they introduce some girls from Philadelphia. WHO KNEW THERE WAS SUCH A THING AS A PHILADELPHIA ACCENT?!?! I didn't! I knew there was a Boston accent and a NY accent and a Maine/upper NE accent... but Philly? So interesting! Now I will be able to pick it out when I hear it from now on. Thanks Mob Wives! :)
Do you have an accent? Do you wish you did?