pixabay

The Amazing Thing about Accents

Caroline Hinson takes us through the beauty of accents and how they be used to define and not define us all at once.

They’re funny, accents. And the thing is, in such an intensely international school, they’re very hard to avoid. It sounds silly – yes of course, everyone has an accent. It becomes something else, however, when we students are surrounded by thousands of others with accents different to our own, whether we are from this country or abroad. This ‘global’ aspect of St Andrews has made different accents so ubiquitous that now, in my second year, they’re harder to notice; they fade into the background as I sit working in Pret, or walk down Market Street.

It wasn’t always like this – when I first arrived here, accents from far corners of the world were all I could hear and it proved quite exciting for me, subtle reminders of the distance I had traveled and new life I was experiencing. During Freshers Week my interactions were steeped in them – French, Russian, Greek (and its subtly different counterpart, Cypriot), German, Chinese, Norwegian, Syrian, Jordanian, Indian, Irish and Northern Irish – not to mention the vast array of English, Scottish and American accents, which were so varied I quickly and subconsciously set about trying to piece them together into some sort of ‘accent-map’, so that I wouldn’t look so clueless upon being told someone’s hometown.

source: pixabay

In the odd, formal dance of introduction that characterized our first weeks here, accents proved a helpful resource. Almost biologically we were aware about potential similarities and differences – where would we stand in comparison to other? In a delicate sequence of trial and error, I began to notice the subtleties of these introductions – asking ‘American or Canadian?’ instead of rushing into a doomed attempt to form a geographic, if superficial connection; or the newly discovered softer, hybrid accent of an international education I found impossible to pin. As the months wore on, the aesthetic novelty of individual accents wore off and they began to meld together. Halfway through conversations, someone would mention where they were from, and I’d be astonished that I hadn’t noticed. But with this normalization, I became aware of what lay behind some of the novelty.

An accent comes with your package; for better or worse it makes up a part of your identity. And with this, it can come with unspoken social or political connotations. Accents can be an entire subgenre of humor. It can become something you can wield, and something you can transform. Friends of mine delegate who among them should call Fife Council based on whose accent they are more likely to ‘listen to’. There are those who I know have tried to intentionally soften their accents, and those that since coming here latch onto it with more intensity than before. There are those that have taken on a different accent entirely. We all know which accents we stereotype, and to what degree.

Regardless of how we perceive them – or if we even notice them at all – accents are intensely personal. They are a trace of home that you have brought you. They are also the cause of fondly cracked jokes, misunderstandings and insults. They can carry with them a sense of fierce identity and loyalty for somewhere we’re missing – whether it be a country, a region or the bit of town on the other side of the river. Heard across a sticky Union table on a Friday night they can lead to sudden connections and friendships – “Wait, are you from – ?” They can make people feel less alone.

As a humanities students, I feel steeped in details of international conflict; lesson after lesson in what makes us different. After all, that is something that I, and everyone I’ve met in my courses, is deeply interested in. Sometimes, however, it can be nicest when they fade and we all become just a bunch of students cracking stupid jokes around a table, burning eggs together in a noisy kitchen, or flirting on the dance floor. No matter where we’re from, or what we’ve carried with us here, there are some things that are just universally understood.

Comments

comments

29 thoughts on “The Amazing Thing about Accents

  1. Pingback: w88
  2. Pingback: fun88
  3. Pingback: 토토
  4. Pingback: DevSecOps
  5. Pingback: fake rolex
  6. Pingback: human hair wigs
  7. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

  8. Pingback: funny tinder names
  9. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

  10. Anfanger in der Casino-Szene sind auf jeden fall immer auf der Suche nach einem kostenlosen Startbonus. Praktisch zeigt sich allerdings, dass die online casinos mit startguthaben webpage ohne Einzahlung in der virtuellen Glucksspielszene bei weitem nicht sonderlich reichhaltig in die bresche springen (umgangssprachlich) sind. Die Uberzahl der Casinoanbieter bindet ihren Bonus generell an eine Eigenleistung, sprich einen Deposit. Die besten Neukundenofferten ohne Einzahlung bestizen wir nachfolgend aufgestellt. http://myhouseofwellnessclub.com/community/profile/martha74v90709/ Mika on Wild Fortune Casino kierratysvaatimus? Fortune Legends Casino palauttaa jokaisesta pyoraytyksesta (tappio tai voitto) 0,5% takaisin panoksen koosta laskettuna. Raha on kateista ja siirtyy saman tien Holviin. Peleja Fortune Mobile Casinon saleista loytyy noin 500 kappaleen verran. Vaikka valikoima on pienehko, on se sitakin laadukkaampi. Mukana on 29 eri pelistudiota, joten vaihtelevuutta riittaa varmasti. Peleja ollaan saatu mukaan muun muassa NetEntilta, Yggdrasililta, Microgamingilta, Big Time Gamingilta, Red Tigerilta ja NextGenilta.

  11. https://www.google.com/doodles/fruitgames Now that we spend a lot of our time inside the house, binge-watching, reading, and learning how to cook, we are learning to adapt this self-isolation, with no one to talk to, and enjoy other usual things we do on our free time. During these times, there’s a possibility that we easily lose interest in things you used to love, and we become irritated even in small things. We are more anxious than ever before – and spending hours on playing google doodle play may worsen if not played in moderation. https://www.investacheck.co.uk/community/profile/franciscomcphil/ Step 4: Launch Steam and go to LIBRARY. Then right-click Rage 2 from your game list and select Properties. Switch to LOCAL FILES tab and click BROWSE LOCAL FILES to navigate to the installation folder of Rage 2. Unfortunately, Rage 2 wasn’t particularly well-received upon its launch in 2019. A cursory glance at its Metacritic page shows an average user rating of 5.5/10. It could be because the game essentially boils down to driving around and shooting things, which can get a tad repetitive after some time. Even though id Software excels at making such games, Rage 2 was not one of its best works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Stand