Sunday, 19 October 2008

Me, Myself and My Accent.

Here in the US, as long as I don't open my mouth, I blend in quite well with the rest of the natives.

On the occasions that I do open my mouth, I can usually guarantee on at least one of the following happening...

1 .. People try to encourage me to keep talking as apparently they 'love the accent'. Men are the worst for that. Not long after I got over here, I was offered a job as a sex-line operator. Actually, I was offered that job a number of times. Apparently there are a lot of male sex-line owners in this town.

2 .. People misunderstand what I'm saying. Those computerised phone menu thingies are the worst. They NEVER understand me. I've been known to yell unprintable things at them.

Earlier this year, I witnessed a domestic incident outside one of our local fast food joints. Things were getting a bit physical, so I called 911.

The Police dispatcher had a few problems understanding me ...

PD ... ' Whereabouts are they? '

Me ... ' They're right outside Wendy's '

PD ... ' Where , Ma'am ?'

Me ... ' Outside Wendy's. '

PD ... ' Outside Windy's ? '

Me ... ' No! Wendy's on the corner of Virginia and Gentry. '

PD ... ' I'm not showing any Windy's there, Ma'am. Could you spell it please. '

Me ... ' It's WENDY'S. W_E_N_D_Y_S .'

PD ... 'Oh, you mean WENDY'S. I thought you were saying Windy's ! '

Gee, lady, I'm really glad I wasn't calling to report that the fryers had caught fire Because Wendy's would have burnt to the ground, before we got that one sorted out !!!

Apparently my 'e' can sound like an 'i' and my 'i' can sound like an 'e', to some.

Which probably explains why, when I once asked someone to buy a 'TIN of baked beans' from the supermarket, he brought back TEN cans of baked beans...

Judge for yourself. Does it sound like 'tin' to you or 'ten' ?



Mind you, I am speaking a lot slower and more precisely there. My normal speaking voice, when I forget I'm speaking to Americans, is a lot faster and the accent is a little heavier.

Found this one on YouTube.


I sympathise with my fellow Kiwi. This illustrates exactly what happens to me, when I try using voice recognition software on my computer or try talking to a computer generated menu on the phone!!

Do any of you often get misunderstood on the phone or by computers? Do you think you have an accent ?

15 comments:

wendy said...

No, but in person, people have asked if my mom or dad were home . . . and that was when I was in my 30s!

The Me/ The Wife/ The Mom said...

LOL...moving from east to west coast and back again I always get a "your not from around here" looks.

However, growing up with my Sicilian mother, I've grown accustomed to translating English into umm...well...English for Americans.

The best part of my mother's accent is that all of her grandchildren inherit it. My nephew would call his "hip" an "ip". My 2 year old daughter tells my son, " no talka like dat".

We have great fun with it! Sounds like you do too!

Jennifer said...

I understood what you said perfectly! I love the NZ accent--and I do watch Flght of the Concords and understand them too! I HATE those phone robots! They never understand what I'm saying either...

Thank you for offering to enter the contest and give the dress to Pickle if you win--you are SO sweet for offering!!

Jen B. said...

I LOVE your accent! I can't believe that guy got you TEN cans of beans! LOL Frustrating, I'm sure!

Kat said...

It sounded like tin and not ten to me. Especially when you put it in context.

So...you are not a phone sex operator?

:-)

Heather said...

No, but people ask to speak to my parents all the time because my voice is so squeaky.

Rhea said...

ROFL That was hilarious. You should totally be a phone sex operator. lol

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I definitely have an accent. I'm Southern, and I say Wendy's and Windy's exactly the same, as well as tin and ten.
My in-laws are from England, and I love to hear them talk, especially my hubby's aunt. The way she says "squirrel" just sends me over the edge! lol

Lori said...

I love it! I could listen to both of those videos over and over again. Your accent is so cool!

I don't have an accent. But everybody north of the Mason-Dixon line does! I married a Yankee and realized with horror the other day that my kids talk like Yankees! ( 8O

CC said...

I have been told I have a Texas drawl, and that I couldn't have more a southern accent if I tried. And yes, "up north", I get asked often.."will you keep talking"..all the while with a smile on their face. :)
Have a happy BATW day and come visit me in Texas..

Chris H said...

WEll for sure I don't have an accent!!!! It's all those bloody americans with the accent if ya ask me! lol

addhumorandfaith said...

Welll, I don't think I have an accent (is there an Indiana accent?), but I did have people get my name wrong regularly when I was talking on the phone alot in my job. I would say, "Hi, this is Sandy at . . . returning your call." And they would say, "Hi, Andy" or "Hi, Annie." I guess it had to do with all the "s" sounds running together.

ladyfi said...

LOL! But poor you... my mum has a Scottish accent and lives in England. I mean, you'd think people would understand her - but no! She still gets frustrated when people don't understand that she wants a book. Or when they say You want a bull when she means bowl. Or they break out the chocolate when all she wants is chalk...

Mrs4444 said...

Well, I know I have an accent, but I've never been misunderstood as a result; laughed at, maybe, but nothing over the top :) You sound just fine on your blog, LOL!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post!
I have a heavy irish accent and, well let´s just say I get to hear that alot.

The cork accent is very sing-songy and up and down so people thik im asking them a question when im not heh!