Let me start of by saying, I do not consider myself the best speaker or writer. I am a big person and I been told that I do not have a deep voice for my size. There were times where I would call a company about my phone issues and they would call me, “Mrs.“ What happened was I once had a track phone. I had to call to put my minutes on there. So I called the company as I was supposed to. I did all the things they asked me to do. Then the customer service person got on the phone.
I said, “Hello, I am trying to put minutes on my phone.”
Her response was. “Hello Miss, allow me to help you with this.”
When she said that, I was like dang, my voice is really light.
I started to actually play sports when I was in the 8th grade. Unfortunately, I would get hurt a lot. I would tell my mom about my problems. I would point at the pain and she would say speak.
"Mom, I got a fast break steal in my basketball game. I had the defender beat. I went up for the lay-up and I came down on my ankle wrong and it hurtted…"
"Hurtted? What the hell is hurtted? It is not a word babe,” as she interrupted me.
Oh well, I did not know that. I was in pain, not anymore. So I thought I would put the "ed" at the end?
" No babe," she said as she started to laugh.
My mom is big on speaking. She believes my siblings and I should speak properly. She really does not like us using slang unless we joking. I am the child that uses a lot of slang because of my generation. Not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s the way we communicate with each other. But when I use slang with my mom she looks confused, like a freshman in Spanish 4, and they never learned Spanish.
“ Hey son how was your day?” My mother asked me as we ride in the car.
“ It was Gucci…,” I responded, as she interrupts me.
“ What in the hell is Gucci?”
“ It means good mom,” as I laughed.
“ Why didn’t you just say good?”
“ Who uses good anymore?” I asked with a smile on my face.
“ Okay Allen,” as she answered her phone.
It’s not that my mom is left in the past, it’s that she don’t pay me no mind when it comes to that type of stuff. But she does catch on to stuff quickly. She proved that after my game with my team called Rise-up.
I asked “How did I do?”
“ You did Gucci son.”
“ What? When did you start saying that?”
“ But those refs was drawling!”
“Where did all this come from mom? You never used to say this.”
I assume it was a joking moment so it was cool. But in a serious conversation, she would not use slang with me. I see that she was catching on. I did not imagine parents would use slang with their kids, especially not mine because she does not believe in playing with her children. She does not agree with us using with adults. She wants us to have manners. She does not want us to be referred to as a stereotype. For example, she is totally against the stereotype of being a black kid who cannot speak properly. She told me one time that I cannot get a job using slang; like “ Yo homie” or “where my niggas at”. She always says “ Talk like you have some sense.” I never fully understand what she means when she says that. When I talk to her I know what I am talking about. So how am not talking with any sense? She mainly says that to me when I am in trouble, and I start to stutter because I know I was wrong.
My mother always helps me pronounce words. When I am speaking to her, she stops me and tells me the right way to pronounce the word. I correct the word, but at first it is hard. I repeat it until I get it right. I do catch on fast. I still have problems saying words like “spaghetti”. But hey, nobody speaks perfect. To be honest I do not plan on being a broadcaster, so pronouncing things is one of the last things on my list. I am not saying I have a problem with speaking; it’s just that I am not that strong, so I will continue to work on it.
When I do not know how to pronounce a word, I will spell it out to my mom so she can help me with the correct way to say the word. . That helps me a lot. Because I hear the word, then I am able to pronounce it correctly.