Thursday, May 21, 2009

hearing accent

Spend a day with my family and I can guarantee you will leave confused about what you have been hearing. Half of us were born in Africa, the others in Canada. My parents are from Africa and Liverpool and have lived in Zimbabwe, in three different Canadian provinces, in Singapore and in South Africa. My sister with the strongest "Zimbabwean" accent was born and raised in Canada! We have spouses from different regions of Canada and one from Los Angeles.
A day with my immediate family can leave your head spinning. Accents get confused, words get muddled and the speed and volume with which we converse can boggle the mind. It is difficult to spend any time with us and not start to pronounce words differently yourself before you leave - but be certain we will all laugh when you do.
My spouse is from LA. We met in Utah. I never thought I had any kind of "accent" but I allegedly sounded American when I arrived in Canada and my American friends claim I sound Canadian when I speak to them.

The other day my spouse was confused by what she was hearing (not me!) and asked me if she had a "hearing accent". This has become somewhat of a joke in our house now and I expect it will be for some time to come.

Having said all of that, I don't pay attention to or really "notice" someones accent unless it is VERY distinct, like when we were in Maine or when I watch a movie like Slumdog Millionaire. I seem to understand all kinds of accents without much strain. I haven't really ever been "turned off" by an accent - until I started watching Canadian HGTV.

Enter Sarah Richardson. Now I have other issues with Sarah which I will discuss in another post, however the cadence of her speech drives me INSANE. To the point I cannot even listen to her, not even on a commercial.

Now I don't know - is it JUST her? Is it an east coast thing? An Ontario thing? Does anyone even know what I am talking about?


Rana and Yvan said...

She does have a weird way to her speech..can't put my finger on it.

What really bothers me is this:

Who the heck does hardwood floor BEFORE the exterior of the house is finished. Then when it rains and ruins the hardwood floor doesn't think "hmmmmm...I should wait until the exterior is done before I redo the hardwood floor." Oh no, instead she does the floor rains she is redoing the hardwood a third time. Sheesh! And then to top it all off - she paints it!! Paints a beautiful maple hardwood floor!!!!!!! Now you can't even tell it is hardwood.

Aaarrggh! Lady!

Teena in Toronto said...

When I moved from Halifax to Nova Scotia when I was 12, everyone thought I was from Nashville. Huh?!

Then we moved back to Nova Scotia when I was 14.

I worked hard to lose my accent when I moved to Toronto 20+ years ago.