Americanisms (was RE: Sorcery and Cecilia and Desert Island
deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Wed Jan 19 09:24:49 EST 2005
On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, Margaret Ball wrote:
|Ah, another DDP (dialectically displaced person). My mother loathed her
|family background so much (think Okies who didn't have the gumption to
|move west when the Dust Bowl happened, but drifted south into East Texas
|instead) that she trained herself to speak like a radio announcer. At
|least that's what I think she did. She won't talk about it.
Yes, both my parents got accent training. My mum couldn't get a job
with the London City Council at age 16 until she learned to speak
proper, and my dad had a high school English teacher who wouldn't let
them leave her class until they didn't sound so Lynn. (You know the
Boston accent? Not the JFK / Mayor Quimby one, but the one you've all
heard parodied as "pahk the cah in havahd squayuh"? Lynn is like that,
only more working class. Imagine Boston with a touch of Down East
Yankee, only more nasal. I've like it, but it's a real class marker of
|I get SO tired of people saying, "You were born here? (Austin, Texas)
|But you don't talk like a Texan!"
|I'm not about to bore them and myself with family history, so I usually
|mumble something like, "well, my family moved around a lot when I was a
|Do you meet this problem, and if so, what do you do about it?
I usually shrug and mutter, "dunno. Tv, maybe?" I have a pretty
neutral American television accent, so it's not so bad, but I wish more
people knew I was local. It gets weird when I suddenly do slip into
Lynn, though, calling my sister "Linder" or some such. Then people look
at me funny.
Pet Peeve: Tourists or new residents, when they discover a friendly
local who doesn't sound like a native, saying, "Everyone's just so
*rude* up here!" to me. Excuse me, do I go around your neighborhood
reiterating unkind and untrue conventional wisdoms about your home? Do I
wander around Nashville saying, "Everyone's just so *racist* here?" No,
I think not. Let's have a think about who's the rude one.
ObDWJ: Now I think about poor evacuated DWJ wandering around Wales
listening to everyone babble on in language she was expected to know and
Sir! I protest! I am _not_ a merry man!
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