My Accent Is Strange And It Changes When I'm Nervous.I grew up in Florida, with one southern parent and one northern parent. The general idea was to speak intelligently: "no accent."
I had friends, several, who came from families with unusual accents - places like Germany, Spain, and Eastern Europe.
I became a musician, and I think I absorbed some of what I liked from all sorts of speech patterns. The result was, it seems a bit of a disaster. I remember being sent to speech class (me and all the black children) for one hour certain days per week in the 4th grade. It seemed silly, but who knows?
So I came out self-conscious about speech. And that made me have a tight kind of speech pattern. I studied several languages, nothing perfectly. But I learned about dipthongs and stress and how to make my speech sound more musical, or not.
I was called anything but American for years and years, and I grew to hate this. I had speech professionals asking about my accent, since it was so "unique." What was really going on? I was hiding my homosexuality behind various accents: mostly staccato speech that sounded at times a bit Scottish. Other times, it sounded like I was a count from Budapest. And other times, a bit German: I even had a German woman swear that I was German and not telling anyone.
I moved to Miami Beach, and I liked New Yorkese, which was in my family anyway. So I moved to New York, and worked on absorbing a kind of hybrid New York accent, mostly Queens, since I spent time there. It is not perfect, for no cultivated accent ever is. But I think when I am angry, the accent that comes out most is rather Central Queens - something slightly comical and strong enough to pass for straight.
I don't have much need to pass for straight anymore, except that it gets a white guy like me into places I would otherwise have trouble getting into. Acting straight became being eccentric, and that is my standard. So my accent is to be heard on my youtube channel, in various modulations, according to mood. 13abbitt is the place, for those who care.
Accents are variable, changeable and people spend a lot of time worrying about them. It is important to be sympathetic to those who have strong accents and to try to understand language best we can. Beyond that, forget about it!
sylvester212 46-50, M 1 Response 0 Feb 24, 2012