Judging Accents

Accents are everywhere and everyone has one whether they like it or not. If you hear an accent that sounds weird to you they probably think the same thing about your accent. People shouldn't be so quick to judge people and their capabilities by the way they talk. My essay talks about how people viewed the way I talked and how accents can be helpful in situations.

When I was young I didn’t realize that there was a difference between a west coast or east coast accent. I never even thought that I had an accent nor did I think that people on the east coast had an accent either. However, after watching a movie about accents I realized that everyone has an accent whether they want to or not. So I want to now why don’t have an accent and how certain accents can be used to gain both advantages and disadvantages in the business and “street” world.  

I was born in San Diego, California and lived there until I was about 6. I had already watched enough movies and met enough people to know that there were other people in the world that talked differently than me. I remember trying to act them out wishing I had one of those accents. When I went to school when I lived out there, there weren’t any other children with accents from what I can remember. It was either that or we all had an accent and I just couldn’t tell. I thought the way we talked was normal and that the people who spoke differently were the funny ones. I remember that even though we were still young we didn’t have a lot of slang like most of the children in Philly had. I don’t know if it had something to do with all our parents or any other outside source, but from what I can remember that is how we talked.

Just a little after I turned 6 my sisters, my mom and I moved to philly. I didn’t start school as soon as I moved here yet so I was still untouched from the types of language and accents other children spoke. The strange thing now that I think about it was that there wasn’t a noticeable difference from the way we talked. There were some slang words that I had never heard of before and some of the kids would tease me by asking if I like this or that. Other than that I don’t remember anyone ever saying that I had an accent, you talk funny or anything like that.

Later in my life people told me that I cursed and said slang words properly. I didn’t know what they meant by that. Did they mean I pronounce every single syllable in the word because to me I thought I was saying the words like everyone else. Still to this day people are saying these things to them it makes seem like I don't have street smarts and that I spend most of my time in school. It doesn't bother me a lot it just differs me from the rest of the people I hang out with. However, still to this day I have yet to have someone tell me that I have an accent.

In the video we watched it said that accents are developed when children are young. I learned most of vocabulary and phonetics while I was in San Diego. Some of it was from my parents who come from different places. My dad being from Chicago and my mom being from Philly. However, after spending 3 years going to school and being with San Diego locals you would think I would have talked differently than my parents, or at least have a mixture of the three, if that is even possible.

Even if I had an accent I wouldn’t know what it would be useful for. In the video we watched about American accents the woman had to change her southern accent because where she lived it made her seem uneducated in the business world. However, on the contrary there was a man with a heavy Boston accent that helped him woo the ladies and intimidate other people that seemed to be a threat. This shows that just by talking people have already judged what type of person you are, how smart you are and what your capabilities are. When people hear and accent they are not used to hearing they immediately label it and the people who have it weird, stupid, tough, smart, etc. With this type of bias behavior we are making it hard or too easy for other people outside of our common accent circle to achieve their goals.

Accents are everywhere and we have them whether we like it or not. You don’t sound the same as someone who lives on the west coast or anywhere else unless you’re born and raised in that area. What you may view as a normal accent or not having an accent may be viewed as something completely different to someone else. We should stop judging people by the way they speak, and let them show who they really.