SA. What do you think?

I have what I think is termed ‘Sympathetic Accent’ syndrome. Apart from obvious extremes, i.e. trying to speak patois in Jamaica, or formal business situations, I reckon I should be speaking in the same manner all the time.

If speaking to one of my American friends or relatives, my accent, by sentence five or so, has unwittingly morphed into deep south, or New Yorken before I can say, ‘whadup!’ If a tourist is unfortunate enough to ask me for directions, within seconds I’m mimicking their own accent, which is probably recorded on facebook status’ as something like “Had the piss taken out of me today by some rude black dude in London”. It would be fine if this was an ability I could switch off, but it’s constantly activated. I can be in a room full of people and my accent can change from West African, cockney and patios within as much time as it takes to finish my beer. I know someone said ‘life’s a stage’, but the make-up and costume is beginning to irritate me.

Some questions spring to mind:  Am I wrong to think my SA is bad?  Is my SA actually a good thing; a quality or talent even? Is it a way to make others around me feel more comfortable, and a clear sign of how much of a nice guy I am? Or is it just a pathetic manifestation of how much I need to be accepted and liked by others? Also, with such a vast repertoire at hand (or mouth), what should I use as my default accent?  Answers on a postcard!

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About The Other Me

Londoner born and raised. Living in Denmark. Occasional singer/songwriter, music fan, nearly author, recovering procrastinator. To read or listen to the amateur stuff I call my art, click on the picture and press the links to either my FB, Wordpress or bandcamp pages. Thanks
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6 Responses to SA. What do you think?

  1. I think it might be actually helpful when trying to learn new languages

  2. seanjrankine says:

    Funnily enough, I do generally get told that my accent is good, when trying a new language…just the lack of vocab and an inability to create a sentence that lets me down!

  3. funny!!! i do this too, i always put on a rubbish farmer accent when hanging around my cousin as she is from devon. i dont even notice!

    • seanjrankine says:

      I live in Kent now (from.London). When I come across those proper Kentonians, the ones that wear shorts 10 months of the year, I hear myself adopting the twang…scary!

  4. Oh I know this – I have it as well. Only It will often hit by the second sentence. A Brit or Australian accent grabs me right away, Or If I happen to talk to someone from the south in the US, Oh Boy do I get twangy fast. At first I don’t realize I am doing it. Without thinking the words just comes out of my mouth. Of course by the 4th sentence I HAVE to continue the ruse. I am glad to know it has a name, and I am glad I am not the only one. 🙂 Good Show old Chap.;_0

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