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Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner

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by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner   

Last edited: Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2002

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Where ya from??

I just love talking to people. Always trying to guess where they're from. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don't.

I live in Texas, where people "tawlk." They're always "fixin' to" do something. (Or the weather's "fixing to" do something.) They have a unique way of phrasing things. There are some things I've heard that made me laugh the first time I heard them...when I asked one Texan how he was feeling, he said he had "a hitch in his git-a-long." Once, a sudden storm blew in; a Texan commented, "it's fixin' to come a cloud."

I'm a Buckeye by birth, born in Ohio. The Mid-West. They have a precise speech, what I call a "roundness" to their vowels. I can usually tell a person is from the Mid-West, because I have the same accent.

But my accent's all fouled up...born in Ohio, lived for a year in Utah, lived for a year in Louisiana (with a Cajun), & now live in Texas...would that make me a Buckeye-Cajun-Texas girl???

Louisianians have a wonderful way of talking, especially Cajuns. My Cajun friend would always ask, "How y'all are?" When she was at work, I'd do some housework. When she'd come home, she'd say, "Didja did the dishes?" (What do you mean, 'DID the dishes'?) If I hadn't, I'd tell her so, & she'd say, "I told you once, I'm gonna told you again, I wanted you to did the dishes." (HANH???) That's another one that I met in Louisiana ever said "What?" in response to a question. It was always, "HANH???" Living with her, listening to her talk all the time, affected my accent...sometimes, when I least expect it, "How y'all are?" comes out of my mouth. Really confuses some people (unless you're a Cajun from Louisiana--they understand me just fine).

The East Coast...LOVE the New England speech. I can usually tell you're from New York or Connecticut or Vermont or Maine or New JOIsey or Delaware...ESPECIALLY if you're from Boston. (Bostonians cannot PARK the CAR--they "PAWHK the CAWHR"...especially at "Haahhvid Yawhhd.")

I used to do telemarketing work (hey!! Don't beat me up...I had to earn a living somehow! At least if you told me you were not interested, I'd thank you for your time & not push the issue. I'm not in that line of work anymore, haven't been for years). We'd call all over the country, & I'd drive my supervisor nuts. I could pick up their accent & usually imitate it to a T. Let's say I was calling someone in New York. "Hello, may I speak to Mr. ______?" "Yeah, waddaya want?" "Hey, Mr. ______, this is Karla callin' from ______, wanna know if ya are interested in ______." "Naah. Not interested." "That's fine, Mr. ______, thanks for your time, have a good day." (And I'm outta there!) The next call would be to someone in Georgia (WAY down South): "Hello, may I please speak with Mrs. ______?" "Why, sure...this is her speakin' how may Ah help yew?" "Well, hey, Mrs. ______, this is Karla & I'm callin' from ______, & I wanna know if y'all'd be interested in ______." "Thankee kindly, Honey, but Ah don't think Ah'm gonna be interested, but thankee for callin' anyway, y'all have a good day now, hear?" "Thank y'all for y'all's time, y'all take care," NEXT CALL!!!! My supervisor would ask me, "HOW in the world are you doing that??" I'd say, "WHAT?" "How do you switch accents like that?" I don't know how I'd do that, it just...happened. I wasn't making fun of them!

If you're from another country, I REALLY love to listen to you talk...what an exotic accent! England is one country's accent I could listen to all day. Very precise, very proper, very...British. No wasted words...dispense with unnecessary words; Brittains don't take vacations, they're "on holiday;" diapers are not diapers, they're "nappies." Listen to someone from England say "aluminum." "AL-YOU-MIN-KNEE-UM." How quaint! They don't stand in line, they "queue." I'd love to visit England, just to listen to them talk. Africa is another place I'd love to see...what a beautiful accent people from that continent have. Australia? Aye, Mate...but their English is harder for me to understand...guess I'll have to get me a Aussie dictionary! (What IS a "Barbie," anyway??)

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Reviewed by Debra Conklin 1/28/2004
Ahh, don't know Kahla, but I'm thinkin yahgot this speech thang down pat. Here's ta figurin out what neck of the woods I come from. My driveway leads ta the woods and my dooryard has rusted cahs and truchs pushed ova a hill. :- )


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