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The Manicou

I remember when I lived in the US for over 6 years I'd sometimes say something and then reel in disgust at the accent that came out of my mouth - almost as if I swore. It took me a while after returning to shake it off completely. Blech!

Lisa Stone

Okay, my favorite part of this post is the "hell if I know" response from you to Alex. Whatever her accent, may she inherit her mama's irreverence.

Great post. You make me reexamine my own speech, Karen -- are words half of the equation, and the other half delivery? I think so. And if so, I can only imagine the confusing signals I send to my own children. Who then is each of us, with so many layers of influences and experiences? Dunno. I am American, with a provincial upbringing (Southern parents, brought up in Montana, speak Spanish) that has marked me. In my late 'teens and twenties in New England and the EU, in school and professionally, I was excruciatingly self-conscious about my speech. Now, with kids and without an office, I find myself relaxing, stretching my English vowels into some kind of Southern-fried Montanan. Words like "pop" and "ya'll" have crept back into my speech, and not just around the kids.

Why? No clue. My quest, with all these influences, is to allow myself the impulse, and to be genuinely me. I'm just surprised that "me" turns out to be a moving target...

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