RE: watch your language! (or don't)

Subject: RE: watch your language! (or don't)
From: "Blount, Patricia A" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 10:08:32 -0400

It's not just Southern accents that are so ridiculed. Those of us with
New York accents are often looked upon as Soprano-ish gangsters or
uneducated muggers.

For me, it's never been a problem until I began working here. I'm often
ridiculed (publicly!) for how I pronounce certain words. In fact, one
former boss stopped a staff meeting in order to spell the word "drawing"
on a white board in front of 15 colleagues, complete with diacritic
marks. Turns out, I say "drawering." ExcuUUUuuuse me.

I went so far as to investigate the costs of accent eradication, similar
to the speech lessons actors receive, but found it way too prohibitive.
With practice, I have been able to keep my Rs and Gs to eliminate
guttural slang like "computa, mutha, fatha, sista, doin', goin', ee-in'
(which is "eating" minus the "T"), dawg, and gotta" etc. from my speech.
And, quite honestly, while few of us walk around sayin' (oops) - saying
- "Fuhgedaboutit," I must admit that the "for" sound is still among the
most difficult for me to make. It tends to come out "faw".

The level of concentration required to monitor how I sound is so great,
I often forget my own points in mid-sentence! So, I've decided to stop
sweating so much over how others perceive my speech when I'm among old
colleagues. For new folks, however, I do my best to make a good first
impression, but the truth is, I'd rather that the right message have a
"street" sound to it than risk saying something wrong.

Fran Drescher
(nah, it's really Patty Blount)


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