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Thread: Accents

  1. #1
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Default Accents

    What's yours? How do people in different areas react to it? Which ones do you like and dislike and which ones are you aware of having stereotypes about? Any you can't understand? Do you ever modify your accent and why? Etcetera etcetera.

    Mine's known as the Estuary accent because it originated around the Thames estuary. Now it's spread across the South East. It's basically something between Received Pronunciation and cockney (so avoids being either 'too posh' or 'too common') and might become the new English RP eventually because it's spreading so far. It would be the first time a non-upper class accent will have been the standard, non-regional accent of England, and some of the upper classes aren't happy about that. I've heard people call it 'lazy' speech but that doesn't make sense as the RP accent is non-rhotic (they drop a lot of Rs) so surely that's also lazy, in comparison to for example the South West regional accents, which I bet they wouldn't want to become the non-regional standard either. It's just snobbery. The person most internationally famous with an Estuary accent I can think of is David Beckham, so just think of how he speaks.

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    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Mine's a mess. A total mess - that is, if I even have just one. I grew up multilingual (French, Jèrriais and English) and multi-dialectal (RP & Lincs Fens English, "Bon Français" and Calvados argot)... nowadays I tend to unconsciously mirror aspects of the accents of the people I'm speaking to or, if not, through the course of a conversation my accent veers all over the place. Within one sentence I can be RP, Hertfordshire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire Fens, Mid-Lincs, and then the other bits that I affect on purpose for comic or dramatic effect (most commonly Irish, Birmingham, Geordie and Indian).

    IOW I speak with an inimitable and bizarre idiolect, which has been commented on ("just WHERE are you FROM???"). It's been noticed that, if I'm very tired or drunk, I can even, sometimes, start dropping H's in English and even end consonants from English words, as if reverting to a sort of cod French orthography (eg. "I think that song has three verses, sing the other verse" becomes "I think that song 'as three vers, sing the other ver")
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    My accent?
    English Montreal plus Ottawa valley and 6 years of living in England to throw my inclinations off.

    I don't think there is a word for my accent.

  4. #4
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    My accent?
    English Montreal plus Ottawa valley and 6 years of living in England to throw my inclinations off.

    I don't think there is a word for my accent.
    I love those kinds
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    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    When I travelled, mine (New Zealand) was very often the butt of the joke. Admittedly, it is a very strange accent. Many people complimented me on my good English and others asked me what language they speak in NZ.

    Also, people that speak English as a second language find it especially difficult. My Brazilian friend told me that it is the most difficult naturalised English accent to understand that he had ever heard. It probably doesn't help that NZers tend to speak very quickly...

  6. #6
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    When I travelled, mine (New Zealand) was very often the butt of the joke. Admittedly, it is a very strange accent. Many people complimented me on my good English and others asked me what language they speak in NZ.

    Also, people that speak English as a second language find it especially difficult. My Brazilian friend told me that it is the most difficult naturalised English accent to understand that he had ever heard. It probably doesn't help that NZers tend to speak very quickly...
    For some reason, to English ears, the New Zealand accent sounds like a posher version of the Australian accent. When I first listen to someone from the area, my first clue as to whether they're from New Zealand or Australia (if they haven't used any words with the vowel in 'bed' or 'met' yet) is whether their speech strikes me as slightly higher class or maybe uptight as opposed to outgoing and informal. And the New Zealand accent is the only one slightly hard to understand when fast, as you say.

    The most difficult to understand naturalised English accent to me, apart from some of the most obscure regional ones, is South African, partly because I rarely hear it. It sounds like no other accent I know of, which is probably also why. I like it a lot now that I can understand it though.

  7. #7
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    I don't think I have an accent, I have been told that by numerous people anyway. While I should have a Midwestern accent... I just don't, and now that I live in the Southern U.S., my non-accent is quite apparent, to myself and to others.

    I do not try to adapt my language, accent or vernacular, to fit into my environment though. I do notice many people do this, it interests me very much, but I cannot pull it off, so I don't.
    "It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  8. #8
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lux View Post
    I don't think I have an accent
    WTF? Of course you do! Unless you speak a language that only HAS one possible accent... you're not Basque, are you?
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    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proximo View Post
    WTF? Of course you do! Unless you speak a language that only HAS one possible accent... you're not Basque, are you?
    Hahahha, no I am not Basque. Let me clarify, I live in the U.S. and we do have many accents here, so to someone from another country I would have an American accent, but others here in the U.S. seem to notice that I don't speak like them, I always get asked where I'm from, whatever state or part of the country I am in, I have no idea why this is. So while I obviously have some sort of accent, I cannot really place it, according to the accents of my country. So I misspoke, I do have an accent because as you have said, everyone does, but I am at a loss to describe it.
    "It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Thought breeds thought." ~ Henry David Thoreau

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    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Typical Texan
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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

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