Sunday, April 1, 2012

A to Z: Know the Signs

Everyday this month, minus Sundays, (except today) I will be blogging about a topic that has to do with a letter from the alphabet.  Today begins with "A".  But here's the thing:  Yesterday Mountain Man and I were driving down the street when a HUGE red sign screamed out, "KNOW THE SIGNS! ST. ALPHONSUS HOSPITAL."

Know the signs?  What signs?  Presumably, it was know the signs about stroke, but the sign wasn't really clear, and it got Mountain Man and I talking about what other topics that it would be important to "Know the Signs" about.  For instance, while it IS important to know the signs of a stroke, it is equally important to also know the signs of Claustrophobia, Good Driving, and Zombie Attacks.  With this in mind, the next 26 days will be devoted to "Knowing the Signs" of various topics uninteresting to probably anyone but me, and Mountain Man, who ironically, doesn't read this blog at all, and my brother, Scott, who alone is responsible for at least three-quarters of my all time page views.

Annnnnnyway, let's get to it and Know the Signs:  Accents.

You know you have an accent when people can't understand you and they keep talking to you in a louder voice than is appropriate for your circumstances.  For instance, I know three Yankees in particular who mock my mom, Magnolia, who is from the South, on a regular basis. These three people should be locked up for the absolute rudeness of their actions, but my brothers and I can't help ourselves.  It's been 38 years, and I can barely comprehend a thing the woman says.  It mostly consists of sentences like, "Wayall, y'all need to cuhleen up yo rooms.  Aham gonna hahv to bayke y'all in a spinach peye??!!"

I know, you have no idea what she's saying either, do you?

Anyway, accents can be tough to decipher, and we should all do ourselves a favor and "Know the Signs" of accents; they include (but are not limited to) :

1.  Not being able to understand what someone is saying to you.  Now, I will concede that the person could actually be speaking another language, but in my experience, language is unimportant.  I can speak French as convincingly as a Qubecoise, but unless I speak it with a Quebecois accent, it profiteth me nothing.  

2.  If the person to whom you are speaking eye's are glazed over, perhaps YOU are the person with the accent...or you are my mom, either way, I still won't clean up my room.

3.  If even basic instructions make you feel weak at the knees, or ready to commit treason, perhaps the person speaking to you is James Bond, who has the best accent ever ( it doesn't even matter which one, Connery to Craig they all rock the best accent.)  By way of information, a British accent is also the reason I can't shop at our local health food store as one of the cashiers is a Brit and I begin giggling like a school girl for his utter coolness every time I am in his line.


Accents are important.  Accents tell where we are from, where we have been, and sometimes, like the guy who works at our local video store who insists on speaking in a fake accent, where we would like to go.  I know he really, really wants to go to France because he sounds EXACTLY like Inspector Clouseau when I know full well he is from Oregon.  


On the other hand, who am I to ruin his dream?  After all, we all have accents.  

Alors, connaitre les signes, mon ami, et bon chance.

What does your accent say about you?

48 comments:

  1. I've lived all over the US and I think that I'm accent neutral....but since I live in the south people tell me I have a southern accent. It's really hard to work accents into writing though.

    Great introductory post for A to Z! :)

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    1. Thanks, DL! I too, am accent neutral! ;) Unless I spend time around my mom, then I begin to sound just like her...;)

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  2. HAR! Great piece, Lisa. Very funny! I think having a mom like that must be a little bit like living with Paula Deen!
    Like DL, I swear I'm accentless. People say they can hear an accent in my Upper Canadian bland but, frankly, I think they're pulling my jambe.
    (Mountain Man doesn't read your blog? He doesn't know what he's missing!)
    Happy A to Z!

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    1. It is a little like living with Paula Deen, except she is a tiny, tiny woman--but she cooks like Paula!! :)

      As for Mountain Man, I know! Shame on him! ;)

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  3. People have accused me of being from places I've never even visited, and then they argue with me about it. What's that about?

    Ellie

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  4. Ack! I accidentally deleted part of my comment!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your post. I didn't know you were participating in the challenge.

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    1. Hi Ellie!
      It's great to see you! I saw you on the linky list and was excited that you are participating in A to Z too!!

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  5. I have traces of a british accent because of my childhood spent in England- many times, it means people not understanding what I say, although I don't understand what could be clearer than a british accent...

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    1. I couldn't agree more!! Brits have the BEST accents of all time. In another life....sigh. :)

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  6. I love accents. And I'm sure I must have one - gee, I hope it's a cool accent and not the "eyes gjazed over" kind :(

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    1. You and I have the same accent. Western US...I think we sound like anchors of the nightly news...

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  7. Nothing is hotter than a hot brit accent.

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  8. I can tell from your accent if you EVER lived in Western NY. I love guessing where people are from according to their accents.

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    1. I'm with you, Jan! While I can't necessary tell if someone is from Western NY, I take great pride in being able to understand many peoples of diverse accents...except my mom.

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  9. I think I'm accent neutral also after having lived in California for almost 40 years. However, I grew up in Oklahoma and when I get back with certain people that Okie accent comes through. Occasionally people would ask me if I was from New York, saying I had a NY accent. Go figure. There are people around here, SE Oklahoma, who are really difficult to understand because of their accents.

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    1. I think it's always weird when someone's accent rubs off--but the same thing happens when I'm at home--near my mother--I answer the phone and people tell me I sound "just like her." Accent by osmosis!

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  10. Lol! Hilarious. Well, I am from Minnesota so you can imagine. Great post!

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    1. Minnesota! That's an awesome accent!!

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  11. My accent says I'm from Maine though not nearly as obviously as my great grandmother's used to.

    I've always wanted a British accent.

    M.J. Fifield
    My Pet Blog

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    1. I agree, the British accent is my all time favorite. I wish! I wish!

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  12. I wish my Southern accent was more prominent now; although, as a teenager I hung out with kids from Utah and tried to adapt their non-accent. :) I love accents and totally agree with you about the cashier at our local health food store! :) great blog!

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    1. I can still hear a little southern in you, Sharon! Soooo...you like Richard's line too??? Hmmmmm? ;)

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  13. I'm pretty neutral as far as accents go on a daily basis, but put me in a room with South Carolinans or Canadians and after a bit, you'd swear I was a native. I definitely succumb to peer pressure when it comes to accents.

    And I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing at the aforementioned video store clerk the other day :)

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    1. You know who I'm talking about--I didn't want to make it completely obvious, so I changed it to France. Heaven forbid he should read this blog and recognize himself! ;)

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  14. LOL. This is great. Apparently people in Utah don't pronounce their "T's" very well. So mountains are actually moun'ains. Things like that. Kind of funny. This is a fun theme to choose! Love it!

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    1. I'm originally from Idaho, so I TOTALLY get the moun'ains thing...ah, home. ;)

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  15. Great choice--accents. Coming from the Midwest, I had a non-accent, or so I thought.

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    1. I know, I don't have an accent either...;)

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  16. I totally cracked up about the cool British accent. Isn't that the truth?? I think everything British people say sounds cooler than when Americans say it LOL. :D

    Fun post!

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    1. Thanks, Julie--I loves me some British accents...they can say anything, and it sounds credible and cool...

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  17. My sister-in-law and I, like any self respecting southerners, say "Pah" (pie) and sometimes the drawl catches up with us so much, we sound like sheep when we're saying our phone farewells "Alraht, see y'all soon. Love you, baa." LOL

    I myself slip into a British accent if I hear it for long periods of time. I don't do this on purpose. It amuses some and annoys others. I like it. :)

    You should find the YouTube clip of the Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy on accents. Hiiiilllllarrrious! Or I'll find it and get it to you somehow. :)

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  18. I, like Jenny and all other self respecting southerners whose mama taught us our manners, speak with a bit of a drawl. I hope my accent sounds southern and not redneck, but then again can we be the own judge of how we sound? Now if you go a little bit south from where I live you will not be able to understand the cajuns from south Louisiana, at all. The civilized cajuns (kidding) speak with an accent, but the real cajuns who live deep in the bayou actually have their own language, not just dialect.

    I really like your unique theme for the challenge and I am looking forward to reading more and learning the signs. I am a new follower from the challenge.

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    1. Even though I shamelessly tease my mom, I can't help but feel right at home when she (or anyone from the South) utters a word...it's like being home...;)

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  19. Well after searching for a couple of hours :) I couldn't find it. But basically, he talks about a Frenchman asking him directions to Edinburgh Castle and he felt the need to reply in a French accent!
    "Do you know ze way to zee cassel?"
    (DB in French accent) "Why yez, you have ahsked the right persone"
    (FM) "Are you French?"
    (DB still in FA) "No, Ah am Schottish"
    (FM) "You are scaring me and mah familee"
    (DB in FA) "Ah am scaring mahself!"
    LOL!!!
    Ok, sorry, it's late. I'm going to bed now. LOL

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    1. "You are scaring me and mah famillee!" LOL!!! That's good...

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  20. Besides being an artist, accent is important to me as a transcriber. Sometimes physicians speaks difficult a way for me to transcribe known as ESL. Anyways that's my work have to transcribe correctly. Anyways, I posted my B now check it out at GAC a-z

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    1. Thanks, Pa UI! I will check it out!

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  21. Lisa, this is a really clever take on the A-Z. I will come back often so that I know what signs to look out for.

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    1. There is no doubt, Angela, that my A to Z signs will change your life. If I can save just one person, it will be a success...;)

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  22. British and Australian accents just do me in mentally. They could be reciting the dictionary and I would listen. Originally from California when I moved to TN as a kid the clash of valley and Southern accent made my 8th grade English teacher cringe.

    *~MAJK~*
    Safireblade.com
    A to Z Challenge

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    1. I love it! And I'm totally with you! Those Brits and Aussies make me swoooooon!

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  23. Great post! I don't have an accent, but my mum's from the north of England. When I visit family, I take on their accent, almost from the word hello! And there are certain words that I struggle to pronounce, just because of the way my mum says them compared to us southerners. Bus is one of them lol!

    I'm #142 on the A-Z list, and I'm a new follower!

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    1. I can't say "tomato"--it's ALWAYS "tomatah" ...it's so nice to meet you! Happy A to Z!

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  24. Nice! I like how you are doing your entire April challenge as SIGNS. Are you going to include any "signs of the times"? I'm #539 on the list, and a fellow Latter-day Saint. Accents are a lot of fun. I'm from the south, but not the deep south. North Carolina is my home, but sometimes people say I don't have an accent at all. I like to call the southern accent lazy talk. When my mouth is feeling lazy, it's so much easier to speak with a southern accent; it's faster.

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    1. Nice to meet you, Christie! No, I don't think I'll do any signs of the times, but who knows??? Never say never! ;)
      It's nice to meet you!!

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  25. Another sign: having to turn Subtitles or CC on to watch a program in your 'native' language. It takes me about a half hour of subtitles whenever I start watching a Masterpiece episode.

    Another sign I notice is that when I'm listening in awe to the way someone is talking rather than what they are saying, it's usually because they've got an accent. There's nothing as cool as listening to the way Mrs. Marcus talks after she's been talking Canadian with someone!

    And Southern Accents! Cool! From the 'cultured' of Savannah and Charleston, to the street musician in New Orleans, to the guy sitting on the milk crate at the crossing of Black River and Peach Orchard Roads in South Carolina. Just incredible!

    I do wish I could fake a good accent; but would never, ever try after being subjected to the travesty of the video store guy, and English actors trying to pull off an American accent in the aforementioned Masterpiece episodes!

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    1. Glider, you could TOTALLY rock the fake Hastings accent! I can see you as a Brit--in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if you are actually British and just fake an American accent....hmmmmm....I will have to think on this more....;)

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