Thursday, June 3, 2010

First of all, I don't condone Googling oneself, and that's not quite what I did, seeing as I Googled my online moniker to see if anyone was saying anything...not about me, but about my narcissistic means of self-expression...because they're different, right? Anyways, I found out there's another Sienna in the world who goes by "CallMeSiSi"...wut. I mean, I don't know if I'm more weirded out at the serendipity or saddened at my apparent lack of originality. But it's okay, other SiSi...if you choose to Google yourself and find this entry, consider it a peace offering.

You've probably already seen this, if you're Facebook friends with me or have talked to me at all lately. I myself have watched it a bajillion times so far and have raved about it extensively. Every time I watch it, I pick a favorite accent she does initially, but have a different favorite by the end, and each time my favorites are different. So in conclusion, I like them all. Okay, by "favorite" there, I mean the one she did best, there are some clear-cut accents that are the most audibly pleasing for me. (Is "audibly pleasing" the right phrase? You know what I mean.)

I find accents fascinating, and many people I've talked to agree. I don't really understand this fascination, though...why is how other people talk so much cooler than how we talk? Is it just the novelty of it? Why are some accents more attractive than others and why do those accents vary for different people? And where do accents come from, in the first place? Like, if a language is established with its own lexicon and whatnot, what prompts people in a certain area to start pronouncing things differently? How does a trend like that start-does it just take one person speaking differently and others catch on?

So, yeah, accents are fascinating in that sense, and some are just really attractive, and it's hard to quantify why. Sure, some individual people have smoother/more melodious/just more attractive voices than others, but how does something like that apply to a group of people in general? I've noticed trends in the accents I find attractive. Wikipedia taught me about rhotic and non-rhotic accents (the difference between "walker" and "walk-uh", "park" and "pahk") (also the reason why we have "ass" in the US and "arse" in the US, apparently...the British confusion used to confuse me. Also, does that mean the origins of the word hav nothing to do with the donkey?), and the non-rhotic (where the r is not pronounced) accents are much prettier to me. I guess this is part of why I like British (also cause of my childhood S Club 7 obsession) and Southern (also, recently, because of my Fried Green Tomatoes/Idgie Threadgoode obsession) accents. But then I also like Irish and Scottish accents, which are quite the opposite in this sense. I think in these cases I actually like the sound of the pronounced r's, just because they sound so different. I guess it's just cool to hear a language you know and have always spoken, but pronounced totally differently. The intonation of these languages also has something to do with it. (While I'm at it, can someone describe a Welsh accent to me? I feel like I have a grasp on every other main British Isles accent except that one and Youtube hasn't helped much)

I mean, I hate how it sounds, but I say "walkerrrrr" and "parrrrrk", because I'd sound rediculous otherwise unless I switched accents completely (and affected accents are silly in and of themselves.I've noticed that when I want to make a sarcastic comment, I'll switch pronunciation, I guess to indicate that I'm not serious. A sarcastic/snarky "nice" comes out as a British "noice" or a Southern "nahce"), so maybe that's why I appreciate prettier pronunciations so much. Though come to think of it, I don't really have a "Philly" accent, minus a few, Midwesterners have called me out on saying har-rible for "horrible" and far-est for "forest" (When I first heard those words pronounced with an "or" sound like in "four" I actually thought it was the weirdest thing, until I left the Northeast and found out that large populations do so) and I've been trying my best to say "wooder" for "water" (though unless I'm talking about water ice I usually revert to the non-Philly way of saying it. I've always said that I don't call our, uh, lovely football team the Iggles (okay, I don't really talk about them in general so maybe I should be referring to times I talk about the band), but this article made me realize I pronounce "vague" as "vegg", so maybe I do shorten my vowels. I pronounce "radiator" with "rad" instead of "raid"(this one I stand by...why would I want to acknowledge that an appliance in my house is giving off radiation-sounds quite unpleasant to me)
     Still, I looked up the Philly dialect on Wikipedia and, while I still don't understand most characters in the International Phonetic Alphabet, from what I gathered from the page I don't pronounce things the way I theoretically should. Maybe I watched too much television growing up so I was influenced by other accents (I'm surprised and saddened that I didn't develop a British accent from all those years of watching Spice World and S Club 7 in *insert city here*)...though that does bring up the question of whether mass media is going to neutralize everyone's accents one day. That would be very sad...I guess future generations wouldn't even know the difference, but for me it would signify a further lack of national/regional identity, which seems to be the direction our society is taking already)...and accents are just so fun to listen to.

Hey, so I know I suck at Top 5 lists, but I'll try it again...closing this off with my Top 5 Favorite Accents of the Moment, in no particular order...

1. British, Londoner I suppose, though I really like Liverpudlian accents, and Brummie (a la Ozzy Osbourne...okay, maybe a bit toned down from him) accents have an interesting intonation.
2. Southern, though I don't think I'd be very happy living in the south, so I propose that lots of Southern ex-pats come be my friend and promise not to lose their accents (or at least keep a slight twang) and dress in adorable tomboyish 30s fashion and charm bees for me and...okay, I'm off topic. Sorry, got distracted. Leave me alone. I will say that my Idgie obsession makes perfect sense, seeing as I see so much of myself in Ruth Jamison (Like, I have the potential to be incredibly strong in the face of conflict, but I'd much rather smile sweetly and offer everyone a slice of pie as a peace offering)
3a. Castillian Spanish, whilst speaking Spanish
3b. Castillian Spanish, whilst speaking English. Actually, any Spanish-speaking person speaking English. I'd try everything before I'd make a Spanish teacher speak to me in English just because I didn't understand their Spanish, but getting them to Speak English because the sound of it brightens your academic day...
4. Irish (not being able to roll my R's in Spanish is a bit unfortunate, but not being able to do an Irish or Scottish accent because of it is downright sad.)
5. Minnesotan/Upper-Midwestern, even if it makes me think of Sarah Palin...actually, why does someone who was born in Idaho and spent her formative years in Alaska talk like that? reachingouttomiddleamericaFAIL?

Though I don't know if I'd actually want any of these accents, since I wouldn't appreciate them as much were that the case, in fact, they wouldn't seem like "accents" to me at all. It'd be cool to have a slight Southern twang or pronounce my o's kind of like a stereotypical Minnesotan would, but I'd still want to be able to squee! over people with really strong accents. Maybe if anything I'd just want a stronger Philly accent so I'd feel vaguely Philadelphian beyond the realm of soft pretzels and wooder ice and people would be able to identify me as such. Who knows...hey, if you feel like commenting (which I know you do)...what accents are your favorites on other people, and if you could have a different one, what would it be?

No comments:

Post a Comment