Sophia Deoliveira Language Autobiography Post

Being normal and speaking normal in today’s society has impacted the way people view others. If you don't speak a certain way, they might judge you. If you pronounce a word a certain way, they laugh at you. You have to speak in a way that people understand you, apparently. There are many people with accents or a lisp, which i happen to have. Those two things might make people look at you with a confused look on their faces. But what does speaking normal mean? When you look on the TV, how do the people sound? Do they have weird lisp, and weird accents? usually, no. People that have a simple tones in their voices, no accent, no lisp, are considered speaking “normal” these days.

Ever since i was a little kid, i spoke “weird”, as people would refer to it. Some said it was  “cute” or unique, and they couldn’t quite imagine me without the lisp. I completely agree with them. Without my lisp, it doesn’t make me unique from others.When i talk, i try to speak in a manner others can understand me. But sometimes, the words just stumble out of my mouth, tripping into the air mistakenly. Simple things i say can be entertain meant to others.

“hey, does anyone have a chore-ja?” i say curiously.

“A what?”

“A chore-ja”

“Hahahhaha, yeah i have one, just say charger one more time”

If indians speak with an accent and they speak with their native language, that is just a normal routine for them since they talk that way everyday, and they were raised. The same is with me. I was raised where at home, it was okay to speak sluggishly, and not care if i pronounce a word wrong. My family would still understand me. But i got so accustomed to it, that whenever someone tries to correct me, i am somewhat confused.  People would consider those on TV, speak quite normal. Not everyone speaks normal, because that is them. Speaking “normal” may not be part of their character. I think everyone speaks normal, because normal is what makes that person them. There is no “correct” way to speak, its just correct if others can understand you.

Try to imagine this :

Say today is a new start. You are about to get a new job as a commercial advertiser, and you are excited to apply. Now this job requires that you speak to advertise certain products, or introduce a clothing line, or whatever the case may be. Once you get there to apply, you sit and wait for this process to go through. After you fill out your information, you take a “speaking evaluation” so they can hear how you sound. After speaking the lines they provided for you, they announce 

“Sorry, but you don’t have the qualified, normal speaking voice”. Your heart shatters right there on the spot.Thoughts spin around over and over like merry-go-round. As you mope your way home, you wonder...

“What is the right way to speak?” What is the normal way to speak?” “How do i speak correctly?” 

As an american, a person living in the community, I can say that there is more than enough diversity in my neighborhood. We have people from different countries, with different accents. There is a wide selection of accents. Some that are common around my area is Chinese, Indian, Southern accents, and european accents. I myself have a “Boston” accent. I talk in a different manner than some of my friends do. They sometimes have to ask me to repeat myself again. Talking the way I talk, makes me who I am, and its a part of me. Its been a part of me all of my life. Now who’s to tell me I don’t speak normal? They would surely be talking to the thousands of others who have accents and lisp. 

Why are people expected to speak normal? What if being normal isn’t really quite them? Being who you are “reveals the private identity and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger,public, or community“ (quote from “if black isn’t a language identity, then tell me what is” by James brown). What does your language say about you? Language should not only build your character up, but show to the world your identity. This includes your personality, where you are from, and your diversity in the way you talk. It makes you feel confident or low about yourself. Its decides whether you wished you didn’t have that accent or lisp...or if you take self pride in it. Even if you don’t speak people expect you too, that automatically does not make you “weird”.  You have something that they don’t have, and thats a cool way to speak.People still are amazed by the way I speak. Its somewhat like entertainment to them. It makes them laugh. I have adjusted to my speech. I’ve had speech classes and therapy for this “disability”. People have been trying to correct me for years. I’m okay that I don’t speak like the regular people, with just regular speaking voices with no accents, and no speaking disability. That not only goes for lisp and accents, but it also goes out to the people who have mental diseases like down syndrome, which tends to make their speech slurred. I’m glad I don’t speak normal. It makes me the person I am,while building my character up. I believe that speaking normal, isn’t quite normal at all. Its just that some people sound like one another, and they consider that normal. Everyone is special in their own way, and everyone talks slightly different from others. Thats what makes them normal, in my opinion.

All in all, i believe that everyone is different by the way they talk. Some accents sound the same, some sound completely different. Me and my friends that have lisp speak more clearly than others. Its what makes us different. People may look at us and judge us by the way we talk, but they don’t understand the people who we truly are. There is no normal way of speaking, The way people hear you is just the way they consider you normal or not. You are normal no matter how thick your accent is, or how bad your speech is slurred, you will still be normal because there is probably hundreds of people out in the world who sound just like you.