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Monday, January 12, 2009

Accents: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

This topic brought to you by SomeMonkey. Note to self: it may actually be dangerous to agree to write on an undisclosed topic provided by SomeMonkey.

She chose Accents: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. Also, she specified that these are vocal accents, not decorative. Which sucks because I would've loved to see the look on her face when she read my blog and read my complaints about lace doilies.

The Good:
  • Simon Baker
  • Phil Keoghan
  • Gordon Ramsay
  • Sting
  • Sean Connery
  • Joe says Claire from Lost (Emily De Ravin) but I'm pretty sure when I said "hot accent" he heard "hot breasts"
In general, British, Irish and Australian accents are good stuff. Any of those men could read me the phonebook and I'd be a puddle of drool.

The Bad:
  • Me

Not so much my own accent (I was raised in Upstate NY and have picked up a bit of Southern twang over the past 8 years) but my complete and utter failure to understand a lot of accents when others are speaking to me. Especially if they're speaking quickly. And hot.

Also bad - Britney Spears' British accent. What was that?!?!

The Ugly:

I'm not going to name names but some of my least favorite accents belong to folks I've met since moving to the South. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some lovely southern accents out there. Matthew McConaughey comes to mind.

But I'm talking about the ones from the "real" south. The ones that have lived here for generations, practically speaking their own language because their accents are so thick. They say things like:

  • Ahm havin' bolled taters fer dinner.
  • Ah done got a flat tar.
  • Mash me the two on the elyvator.
  • Ah reckon yer axin' the wrong feller.
  • Git er done!

It just drives me bonkers. I have one coworker in particular that I can hardly understand. Though since he's on the phone literally 10 times a day with his wife and kids (but that's for another post), I get a lot of practice listening to his voice.

What and who are your good, bad and ugly accents?


A. said...

I love different accents, but unfortunately I suffer from the pick-up-accent-like-crazy disorder! It often gives me problems:
1. I do not sound foreign. Therefore, when I don't understand something, I just appear to be stupid, not un-American.
2. People I talk to who speak in an accents, often think that I am mimicking them for fun, when I after a few minutes of conversation starts to involuntarily pick up "their way of speaking". It is sometimes really awkward.

Upside: I can speak like almost anyone.

The Wife O Riley said...

I have a Chicago accent. And although I never thought we had one, we do.

We say Dat instead of That.
Da instead of The.
And Pop instead of Soda.

How's that for ugly??

Call Me Cate said...

A - I find myself mimicking after awhile as well and I think that's why so much southern noise has infiltrated my accent. But I will NEVER "mash" a button. What is wrong with people? You mash taters, not buttons!

Wife O Riley - My family always said pop. I say soda just to be contrary. I do a lot of things just to be contrary. Like marry Catholics and eat sushi.

Deb said...

i don't think your problem is as much with the accent as it is with the "creative" grammar. i think your coworker may be one of my relatives.

i get panicky whenever i have to be around people with british accents or if i go see a merchant/ivory film. i always try to pay extra close attention and stay one step ahead, for fear of not being able to understand.

i'm a freak.

Call Me Cate said...

Deb - I think probably the grammar plus the accent is just too much for me to handle. British accents I'm usually ok with.

andrea said...

"Git er done" is a staple in Redneck-ville, Alberta.

All of a sudden I am distracted by a 6 year old's drama...sigh. Apparently she hates her sister 'cause she never lets her wear her clothes...and she wishes she was never born. Deep shit, man.

My wit has failed me. Crap.


Sarah said...

The good: Toni Collette's fake in "The United States of Tara".
The bad: Jack Davenport's fake on "Swingtown".
The ugly: Me having to kill someone dead for using "aks", as in "aks you a question". Because, really. It's never pretty.

Lyndsay said...

Aks you a question (eeeks! this one gets me all the time...)

It's right up there with the Walmarts and the Kmarts.

Call Me Cate said...

Andrea - Tell her to wish she was never born in a French accent.

Sarah - I know both actors but I haven't seen either of those shows. Movies? I fail.

Lyndsay - "Aks" makes me nuts. So many things make me nuts.

debilyn said...

Irish, Scottish, or British.
I totally agree that those are the best (I realize you said Australian, know...close enough).

I'm not particularly fond of the heavy Bostonian accent...kinda hurts my ears.

I don't care what kind of accent you have...if you're using poor grammar, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. Down here in South-Central Indiana, this is a rampant problem. Unfortunately, I'm a compulsive grammar-corrector. This does NOT make me very popular.

Debbi said...

GIT ER DONE pisses me off. It's soooo nasty and white trash!

(Andrea is so right. What is wif dat 'ere in Owberta!?)

Actually, I hate 'homey' typing/ messaging. Especially from cell phones and stuff.

Dat : Why jew do dat?
Jew: you
2: to (seriously, like typing ONE MORE LETTER WAS TOO TOUGH!?!!)
dis: this

you get my point. GRRR. Hate that.

angie said...

Just wanted to say congrats on your Saucy Blog!

There are times when I'm watching tv or movies that I have to turn the closed captioning on just to be able to understand what's going on!

Paige said...

I cannot stand a Chicago accent, but there may be more to that than the accent, since I am from Illinois. Boston is also awful

My own father has a thick southern accent, and I cannot always understand him either

I live...therefore I consume. said...

Popping over from SITS congrats on being Saucy!!

MindyLew said...

I will take Sean Connery reading the phone book!! Love the accent!!
Have a little bit of a country southern talk - not really an accent even though some people may differ with me. lol

Joelle said...

Ah accents - I do love them. I'd have to say an Auzzie accent is my favorite! Stopping by from SITS congrats on the Saucy blog!

Diane said...

cant say that i agree with all your "goods". some of them really get on my nerves. connery, for one. and when i tink af him all i see/hear is the jeopardy skit from SNL! lol
i love me some matthew mcconaughey tho! mmmmm!! :)
visiting from SITS! congrats on yur saucy-ness!

Sherrlyn Borkgren said...

Sherrlyn of says. . . I'm still trying to figure out who Brittany Spears really is. I never thought I had an accent until they admitted "they" could not understand me.

blognut said...

Hey! You're saucy with me! Congrats!

Great post - an Australian accent does it for me everytime!

Rachael said...

Great post and congrats on your saucy blog!

I was born and raised in Southern no accent here!

But....we lived in Georgia for three years and I went nuts trying to understand them down there. You were spot on with the phrases they use :-)

I know they thought I spoke far too quickly being a "Western Yankee" and all.

Oh each his/her own!

Lynette said...

Well I am a southern girl and type the way I talk most of the time.
Accents can be hard to understand. So I don't think that is a bad thing just a tolerant thing.
It's my day at SITS
It's YOUR week at SITS


Noah's Mommy said...

that is a great post...and I try very hard not to do any accent...good...southern....bad... husband....congrats on your sauciness...

Cathy said...

Congrats on your well-deserved Saucy Blog! I am from the south, and I totally understood every "ugly" phrase you posted! Thankfully, my accent is not "thick", only slighty chunky! :-)

Stacy's Random Thoughts said...

Congrats on being Saucy! ;)

An Australian accent will melt me every time... :)

Knit Purl Gurl said...

Just stopping by to congratulate you on being SAUCY!

Claire said...

Congrats on being Saucy today! I am too. Isn't it wonderful?!? The only thing that comes to mind for me on accents is I'm actually quite disappointed that Tom Cruise didn't attempt a German accent in the upcoming Valkyrie. That would have been awesomely bad.

Ryan Ashley Scott@Opitimistic Cyicism said...

Madonna's british accent was awful. I HATE the "git-r-done" phrase. Loooovvee Daniel Craig. This was a funny post. Thanks for the laugh. And how wonderful to be Saucy! Yay for you!

Sarah said...

I'm from the south...but I don't think I'm quite in the "Git er done!" crowd. Lord, I hope not anyway...

hebba said...

worst accent in the country: Rhode Island. Take the worst of New Jersey and the worst of Massachusetts and mix em together.

KiKi said...

Love the blog!

I try my very best to stay neutral, but raised in Northern NY on the Canadian border...a definite bit of a distinct dialect sneaks its way in there at times!

Call Me Cate said...

Some interesting choices among the comments for hot and not. Tonight, talking with Joe, I was possessed or something and I have no idea what accent I was speaking with. Besides "frozen". I'd say Alaskan then except I totally couldn't see Russia and didn't club any seals.