Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Under the Category of…

58 Comments

…things one thinks about at one in the morning after a couple of glasses of wine…

Something the people who have met me in person know that most of you cannot is that I have a slight English accent. I acquired it from my parents, even though I was born and raised in Canada. I used to say I was born with an accent – I was teased relentlessly as a child for it. Most of it has disappeared but…

I was talking to myself at one this morning after a couple of glasses of wine (did I mention that?) and I said to myself, I wonder if I think in Canadian or English? And then I got to thinking.

What accent do we think in? Do we think how we speak? Or is there a language of thought?

In the immortal word of Bill and Ted on their excellent adventure, Whoa!!

bill_ted_whoa

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

58 thoughts on “Under the Category of…

  1. Lol Linda, I always say us Canadians don’t have an accent, everyone else does. πŸ™‚

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  2. I’m pretty sure I think in Southern….

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  3. Very interesting! I LOVE listening to different accents. They are like different instruments of the orchestra! I don’t think I have an accent, but maybe I do. My parents speak West Texan (and if you’re from Texas you know that’s very different from East Texan) and I think I pick some of that up from time to time, but generally I think I have no discernible accent. I don’t really like listening to my own voice, but I had to do it when I first started learning French. Ugh. Of course, I have an American accent when I speak French, but I think mostly I can make myself understood. It’s weird to think how an “American” accent must sound to a francophone…I love hearing French speakers speak English!

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  4. I’m sure we think in our speaking voice, I told me that in my head and it sounded just like me.
    Furthermore, recent research suggests that animals have regional accents too, so cows that moo at you in Canada do so in a different dialect to the ones over the border in America.

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  5. Hehehe… yep, I had a couple of glasses of wine too yesterday and had an interesting conversation with myself before falling asleep. Unfortunately I don’t remember what I was talking about with myself today… Oh well. Good question though: Do we think in accents or not… I think we think the way we speak… I guess so…

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  6. I have been planning a blog post about accents. We’ve gotten so over the top politically correct that I’ve learned it makes people squeamish to admit that other people have accents. I don’t mean rudely exclaiming to someone, “Hey, you’ve got a weird accent!” but more along the line of calling up some IT help and getting someone in some far off country who has a heavy accent to their English. Some comedians have made jokes about this but if you remark upon it, say at work, people look uncomfortable! This was news to me. We ALL have accents. I have a midwestern newscaster accent, which is pretty much no regional American accent, but I sound like I have an accent to my Canadian and European friends!

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  7. My family is from Massachusetts so I speak with a slight Bostonian accent – especially when it comes to words like “roof” “garbage” and “wolf.” Ah well!

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    • Ah Bostonian. One of those accents that’s so so regional. It always amazes me that small areas with distinct accents survive and are not watered down by newcomers. Does that make any sense?

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  8. And then it occurred to me, if they made a movie of my life I couldn’t play myself…. I don’t speak French.

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  9. I only speak 2 languages: English, and Bad English. I think in Bad English.

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  10. Very interesting. I love hearing different accents. I hate hearing myself, though…I sound like a slow talking, country hick with lots of Tx slang!

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  11. My thought-accent depends on who has spoken to me last. I pick up accents very easily. Right now I’m writing in a Canadian-English accent.

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  12. Hhmmm, things that make you go hmmm! One thing I know for sure: if anyone could hear my thoughts they would run screaming into the night! I know sometimes I want to . . .

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  13. My brain hurts after that…

    The only thing I know for certain is I have music running through my head all the time I’m awake. Usually the same song all day. Today it’s “Free as a Bird” by The Beatles.

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  14. For me, it changes constantly. With each geographic move, I pick up a bit of the local accent and voice mannerisms. Folks who meet me…have no idea where I might be from…and I love that. ☺

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  15. I have a hard time identifying myself on tape. Interesting question Linda. Who was that masked man?

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  16. I still hate hearing myself talk but for years I’ve had to on supervision.
    A colleague whose mother tongue is French dated a fella from Aussie. Well! It was so funny to hear her speak English with the cute Aussie accent. My mom took English courses at McGill by a Prof who had a British accent. So she spoke English with a slight British accent

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    • Yes! I remember a couple I knew when I was living on the Quebec side (friends of the ex-in-laws) – she was English from England and he was from Paris. She spoke French with a Parisian accent and he spoke English with a British one. It was so weird.

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  17. I so hate listening to myself on tape. This puts me at a distinct disadvantage – if I make written notes, I can rarely read them, and if I make notes into a recording device, I can’t bear to hear them back!
    As to accent, my mid-Devon gave way to an amalgam of accents from the various places I have lived, although I like to think it is now neutral with a slight leaning to the westcountry. How do I think? Probably a lot more neutral than I actually speak.

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    • I think we all think our accent is neutral. It’s weird when someone comments on an accent we think isn’t an accent… but we all have them.
      I suppose you must rely on your memory a lot. That’s probably a good thing. It keeps the wheels greased, so to speak.

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  18. Interesting…I like this idea that we could be a completely different person within out minds. Our voice could be different, but would we be able to tell? I mean we’ve grown up with it so it became a part of us, it’s hard to find irregular patterns in something that has always been with you.

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  19. I think in a generic English accent, how I imagine that I talk, I suppose, although it’s not necessarily how I actually do talk!

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