Boylerpf

27 October 2009

The English Accent

There's something about an English accent that just makes me stop, listen and be totally enthralled. Perhaps it's the romanticism...who knows. The DH and I often watch English made movies and it takes me at least 5 minutes to start to understand the lingo or the speech patterns. Australia, Great Britain and America all speak the same language but the accent and vocabularies of each country sets them apart. Referring to the "hood" of a car as a "bonnet" is just so much more descriptive to me. Of course, accents in America from region to region can be another story in itself.

Both the DH and I are Northern born so we pretty much have nonexistent accents. This gets passed down to our kids just by listening to us speak. Shortly after we moved to the mountains of North Carolina, our daughter who was in second grade at the time came home from school all excited that they were going to be doing a project.

"Mom, the teacher is asking all the kids to bring something to school to help with the project."
"Great...what are you supposed to bring?"
"Awl."
With my limited carpentry skills all I could think of was a whole group of second graders wielding this sharp object around and thinking this was NOT a good idea. So I politely asked our daughter to ask the teacher again if she was sure that's what she wanted her to bring.

The next day, I pick up our daughter and she emphatically told me the teacher said "awl". I'm not a budinsky parent but this just wasn't my idea of safe. It just didn't make sense that the teacher would have her bring this tool to school, especially in light of the fact that kids get frisked for having any sharp object now. So I told her to have the teacher write me a note figuring I had better cover my daughter's and my you-know-what so we wouldn't get in trouble.

The note arrived the next day saying, "Please contribute "OIL" to our science project. A 16 ounce bottle will do. Thank you!"

Don't you just love the English language!

Happy Tuesday and many thanks for all the well wishes....we're working on it!
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37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, yes! the awl!! i was soo embarassed. immaculate vocabulary and correct pronunciation of words was always a MUST in our home. I remember tripping up on a few words and you'd sit with me until i understood the right way! NOW that, is parenting at it's finest. If we were all raised this way, i would not have had to ask the teacher to write it down!!! :o) great post, english should be the #1 key to households. It creats a better back bone for the youth of this nation. Love you!!

Kate said...

Really enjoyed this post...I grew up in California, but with parents from Missouri..so I am quite familiar with "awl" !

Have a happy day !

briannelee said...

Hahahahahahahaha, that is so cute.

I LOVE English accents. I am obsessed w/ BBC America

rxBambi said...

I'm a sucker for a British accent as well, and I love the whole awl/oil mix-up. My parents were Northerners and we moved to Memphis when I was 5, needless to say I picked up plenty of new words to bring home.
Great post!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I am laughing!! And, I don't have an accent, I'm from Texas, but you do, being from the north and all!!;)

Sarah said...

LMAO...I had this happen to me in the South too! We had moved from NY when I was 9. The very southern, sweet neighbor said she wanted to show me her flares. Flares??....Yes honey Flares..you mean fair??? No honey my purty flares!! I finally figured it out..flowers..giggle!! She teased me about that for years..FLARES!! Giggle!!
Have a wonderful day hon, Sarah
Oh and I do a wicked English accent....

Moonshadow said...

I have always had a thing for accents, too. I remember in Jr High we had a new student from England. I don't remember what class, but he had sat in the front row and I was nearly in the back so I couldn't see him. The teacher introduced him and he spoke.... OH! my heart throbbed, he had such a dreamy voice and accent. I couldn't wait till class was over so I could get a good look at this English stud. The bell rang and I hurried toward the front of the classroom only to feel my jaw drop. This boy with the dreamy voice was one of the skinniest, homeliest, little boys I had ever seen. What a reality check for a teenage girl. :(

Diane said...

Funny! Good thing you kept asking. Nowadays, you and your kid would be arrested for weapons charges. :O)

Snap said...

Wonderful story ... and so true! Feel better!

Amariah said...

what a funny story- made me laugh!!

Emmy said...

Too funny! Yes, the southern accent is often quite tricky. I grew up in the Midwest, so not much of an accent either. When I was younger when we went on vacation I found that I would often start picking up the accent of wherever we were, quite quickly. This doesn't seem to happen much anymore though.

clairedulalune said...

Oh, that was funny!! My accent gets me in a lot of trouble, no one understands me but other people from Belfast! All I get on the phone is "What?" "What did you say?" constantly! I can sound odd at times!

Matty said...

There are 2 men where I work who are both from England. Their accents are quite noticeable. We also have friends in Maine, NH and Mass, who have a unique accent.

When you said awl, I knew it was going to mean something else, just wasn't sure what until I got to the end.

Boutique By Bonnie said...

What a cute story! You were smart to ask for it written down. I've never lived in the South but I pick up accents so easily I'm sure I'd be talkin' with a drawl in a week!

Brian Miller said...

thanks for the chuckle...i tried for many a year to otrun the southern accent is a was born with. used to work with a chap from the Isle of Mann, i could listen to him all day.

drollgirl said...

hahaha!!! accents can be so enthralling, and so confounding!

i was on vacation once in london, and within about a day i was talking like the english. i think i was inadvertently mimicking them, and adopting their words and phrases. kind of like madonna! ahah hahaha

briannelee said...

Thank you for telling me about that sneaky Ebay bidding program! I am not going to use it... I only want to win things fair and square :)

Grammatically Delicious Designs said...

I love all accents and drawls myself. I often am accused of having a slight Canadian lilt myself since I'm only 7 miles from the border and there alot. I have to admit, I love calling a couch a chesterfield!

Danielle

Marbella Jewelry Designs said...

I wonder if we will pick up a southern accent once we move to TN.
And thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I actually practiced the dance in four dance classes. It was quite easy once we got the sequence.

TheChicGeek said...

LOL...gotta love those accents! I am really bad because when I speak to people that have accents I always start speaking the same way. In my own way, I think subconsciously I am doing it as a form of compliment to make them comfortable. I don't even realize I am doing it! My kids say it is terrible! Nobody has gotten mad at me and they seem more comfortable in my opinion...it is weird that I do that.

Judy said...

Having been born and raised in New England then moving to Tennessee I totally understand about accents! Half the time I can not understand what folks are saying...the words are soooooo long. My husbands name is Ed, nice and short and one syllable, but here they say Eeeeeeaaayyyydd.I am forever having people repeat themselves, they must think I have a hearing problem.

Welcome to Yaya Chique! said...

That is hysterical! Of course, being a southern gal myself (deep south)....I guess we do have our way of sayin' some things. Like we never end our words in "ing"....we tend to drop the last part? LOL

But, when I heard a northern gal,like yourself, ask me "Where is the bubbler"???? It took me forever to realize what in the heck she was talkin' about. So, I guess it can go both ways? LOL

xo....deb

i brake 4 dreams said...

LOL....that is too funny! I have a cousin who moved to South Carolina and after living there for years her accent has become thick..... I thoroughly enjoy listening to her speak on her visits home ;o)

Absolutely love your blog!

love + luck + bliss,
missysue xox

SoDear2MyHeart said...

Boy can I commiserate with you, sistah! Both the DH & I were raised in the great white north. I lived in the part of SW Michigan that supposedly is the only place in the US that has NO accent or is "pure in dialect." If you listen to most of your newscasters, this is the "dialect" they are taught in broadcasting school, so that it doesn't sound like they are from one region more than another. I've been blessed to have turned my "lack of accent" into an income earner as a paid voice talent for radio/television commercials and professional horse show announcer.
We have a 13 year old daughter, born and raised here in the mid-south (Southern Indiana) who, despite my constant nagging, has adopted the twang of her birthplace... I remember clearly the day when she was about six, that I told her she couldn't do something and she responded clearly, "But ma-hommmmma, whiiiii???" There were 3 syllables in Mamma and no punctuating "Y" anywhere in her question... It was then that I had to make peace with the fact that the microphone stops here...
Great post, as always!
Hugs,
Terri
So Dear 2 My Heart

otin said...

I grew up in Jersey and for years thought that I had no accent and that other regions did. Now I am in NC and people say to me all the time, "OHH, I love your accent."

Barbara said...

As a former Tennesseean, I saw that one coming! LOL! That was a funny story.

After living in Big Orange Country for about 5 years, I moved to Cali, where people at my Revlon Cosmetic Counter at Bullocks would say on a regular basis, eyes scewed, "Where are you from, anyway?" I'm like what? I don't have an accent. But apparently, Tennessee rubbed off on me in a drawl-y sort of way. Awl. Hee-heee.

Linda Sue said...

HAHA after living in England for quite a while I thought I had this language thing down- Scots, Irish, Welsh, Birmingham- yup, Had it down...went to Australia and started hitching across the Nulabour- couldn't understand a single word, though in the eastern cities I could make out some bit of familiarity. I have no accent- but in Australia I sounded Irish and in Italy I was mistaken for French...

Nancy said...

LOL! What a cute post.

Teacher's Pet said...

I laughed out loud at this one! Loved it...love the different accents...and love the children!

Hello Lindello said...

Funny! I wish I had an English accent. No matter what they say it always sounds so smart!

Purple Daisy Jewelry said...

What is it about that English accent? We all (not awl) love it. My story - I from Texas and clearly remember writing my grandparent my first letter when I was learning to write. I asked my mom how to spell "yall" because I was writing the way I talked. "Dear yall" - now my parents laughing with tears running down their face had to explain "Yall" was really "You all" and not one word. And I know most of you are laughing even thinking about saying "you all." Mom is from Mississippi and Dad from Texas - what's a girl to do?? (And, yes it is a regular word in my vocabulary still.)
Yall have a great day! :)

Drawn to The Sea said...

Funny, accents from foreign lands are often so appealing to our ears... yet we roll our eyes at regional ones right here in our own country. I think the manner of speaking, the correctness, or colorfulness, has a lot to do with it.

she said, with a long, slow drawl that she truly can't help

Julia ;-)

beth said...

OKAY....you just totally cracked me up with this story...it's so funny !

and the english make me stop and listen, too...I just love them ! the guy who does my hair is english and after almost 4 years with him, I still have to say..."excuse me" as I miss a whole word or two....

Vicky said...

I agree, that is a classic! Does she remember this? I too would be scratching my head at awl... for a second I thought owl... which makes no sense at all :) Thanks for the funny story :)

Des said...

The English accent is so cool. I know if I had that I'd automatically feel like James Bond!

Alisa said...

Oh my goodness, that is so funny!

My own family makes fun of me when I get excited and my Texas accent comes out really strong.

Haddock said...

Ha ha . . . . .how true.
The best I enjoyed was the janitor and his English accent in "mind your language"