The Hierarchy of Articulation


What’s in an accent?  Surely that by any other pronunciation would sound as sweet?

Clearly the Bard was calling on base comedy.  I bite my thumb at thee.  Everyone knows accents are cool.  No, let’s be honest.  They’re dang sexy.  Well except for some.  Sorry, Midwest.  The best ours can be described as is “nasally.”  Not exactly erotic.

Accents are such a fun way to make a normal word quirky.  They turn my top-o-the-morning shedule upside down.  And none is better than the South African one (on my husband).  Thirteen years into our relationship it’s time to admit that the accent may or may not have been what first attracted me.  It was so endearing to hear him say ya (ja) instead of yes and to consistently mispronounce all brand names.  A-dee-das?  Pretty sure Adidas disagrees.  Nik?  Where’s the e?

I secretly love when junk u’s get thrown into words like cereal coupons.  No one needs them there.  The most efficient of us will just pitch them in the bin and move on.  However, my most favo(u)rite difference in comparing international English is the re-appropriation of common words.  After studying Chicano history and fighting to keep Huckleberry Finn in schools despite the period-telling offensive words, I am a lover of watching how words evolve. To hear my foreign spouse talk about now in present or even past tense perks my ears like a hound do(u)g.

Accents are travel in a cassette tape.  They embrace our diversity.  They hint at larger differences for good or bad that might just hide before the surface.  They are a distinctive distinguisher that persists even after fashion and music tastes have been assimilated.

Plus, accents are just really cool.


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2 responses to “The Hierarchy of Articulation”

  1. Nancy says :

    Then there’s the Baws-ton accent. Very cool.


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