The first story I posted on WP is set in Las Vegas. Based on a story I heard at a dinner party.
I’ve been called a magpie, because my speech takes on the rhythm and colour of those around me. It’s not a conscious effort.
It also reflects the subject and my experience. At the local saloon, swapping stories about horses, I catch myself sounding like my grandfather, a Wyoming rancher. Talking about books and such, I take on the voice of my favourite lit mistress, who had a BBC accent. About sailing, I develop a Kiwi twang.
I sort of enjoy being able to do that, but it makes me wonder who I really am.
Similar experience. When I spent a couple of months working in NC two years ago, I found myself picking up on the drawl, which resulted in a few comments from the locals as they tried to work out who I was. Eventually I ended up deliberately pushing the Irish accents.
Never hung around Pittsburgh long enough to pick up on their accent, though. Plus, I didn’t spend enough time with locals there.
As a long distance driver we ran in teams of two drivers in one truck. My co-pilot used to tease me as I seem to adopt an accent of the person I was speaking to. He told me it din’t matter if I was talking to Frenchman in Quebec, or a rancher in Texas, within a few words I’d be speaking their lingo.
Sometimes I forget what it sounds like in my native accent when people ask me to speak normally, and I reach into this God-awful version of how I talk when I’m home. I think it’s because I’m very sensitive to musical pitch, so I adapt quickly. When we’re on the phone we immediately drop right back in. Even with watching Outlander now, we’re starting to talk with a Scottish accent.
Useful if you’re travelling.
Yup, pretty English sounding.
As long as they don’t notice - and take offense! Some people might think you’re mocking them, others will appreciate your efforts to “speak right.”
No one took offence and most times I was accepted. Once I was with a Polish immigrant who had a strong accent and we arrived in southern Georgia. They knew we were coming from Canada and commented on his Canadian accent. Both of us roared at the comment.
Relevant quote from an article I just read:
“We don’t think of French and English as languages where pitch has meaning,” he told me. “But it’s there.” He knew an Irish composer who lived in Paris and who noticed a pattern at his local boulangerie. Customers who said “Bonjour!” in an ascending line, with two notes a sixth apart, got served first. English has similar patterns, studies have found. We use minor thirds when telling sad stories and major thirds when telling happy ones. We match pitches with those we admire and expect the same of those who admire us. We harmonize when we agree—starting our sentences a perfect fifth or an octave from where the last sentence left off—and grow dissonant when we disagree. Our arguments are full of tritones.
Whether we know it or not, Wells said, we’re always singing."
From: Onward and Upward with the Arts: Extreme Range, by Burkhard Bilger. “The vocal experiments of Roomful of Teeth”.
Oooh. Lovely bit of information. Thanks <3
The article is quite good. If you like artsy vocal music, Roomful of Teeth is worth a listen.
I’m also keen on Sonos Quintet and Pentatonix.
That’s so cool. And I am so happy it’s Friday. It’s been a week.
I just realized I may have unwittingly participated in a pattern here on Wattpad that might need to be reported. Scammers prey on people who they groom. When the second, “Hi - how are you?” contact was made by a Wattpad account with a male photo as its icon, I recalled the first one, and the string of meaningless but polite exchanges I had gone through, recently, with another - male photo.
I don’t mean to be suspicious, but I have no interest in talking to scammers. I’m a grownup, but others here are not. Lonely adult males who get into conversations that look as if a bot wrote them are not looking like real people.
Has that happened to other people on this thread? Should I just report anything that makes me wonder? If I do nothing, am I enabling?
Opinions respectfully requested.
You can report the profile, Alicia. You can read this post by Katherine for more info-
When I used a photo from my long-ago modelling portfolio for an avatar, I got quite a few Hi—how are you? posts from accounts with young guy avatars, that I didn’t recognise from the chat threads. I didn’t respond and deleted them. I also changed my avatar. Didn’t bother reporting.
If you don’t recognise them from chat threads or comments on your work, they’re likely scambags. A bit of wariness does no harm.
I will probably just ignore, and mute any that are annoying, and report any that go over the line.
I use my photo as an avatar because I am creating a long-term career as a writer, and it will go with my books having my name on them. It works fine with friends; the others can take a flying leap.
If people want to be friendly, they can discuss either the works or the writing process until they know each other well enough to assay an occasional personal question (like on this thread).
Have to agree with @EmmaKatSpector. A little bit of caution goes a long way on the internet.
I’m immediately suspicious of anyone who pops me a message wanting to chat, especially if I don’t recognise them from a thread, etc. If you reply, some ratbags will collect your data, run an internet search, and try to find out a way to target you or put your name on a list they can sell.
You probably know this, but be particularly wary of blind links, where the content is not displayed.