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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Do Me A Favor: Say That Again

I am the proud owner of a Dyson vacuum cleaner. And while I can now tell you that it truly sucks – and in the way that a thing can suck and still have that be a good thing (and yes, you are free to run with that – I’m feeling generous today!) – I must admit that the primary reason I bought the Dyson was because the man in the commercial had a British accent.

And in that way, I find that I am typically American.

What is it about the British accent? A person with a British accent could be claiming that three minus two is still two and I’d be inclined to nod, smile, and picture him talking dirty.

Oh, clearly, I need to get more sleep.

Americans have a fascination with accents, I think. A nation of immigrants, we are at once suspicious of those not “like” us and enamored of the construction of their sentences, the thought processes, the thought that perhaps they actually speak more than one language, the thought that they know something that we don’t.

Or is that just me?

What do you want?! We’re a fairly isolated country, bordered by Canadians (who speak either English or French) and Mexicans (who speak either English or a derivative of Spanish). If you were born in America, particularly as a third-generation participant and beyond, you speak English (and only English) and just enough French or Spanish to make it clear that yes, you’d like a beer and where is the bathroom?

Personally, I can also ask for the beach, a towel, and another beer.

OK. That’s a lie. I cannot remember the French word for “towel”.

Where was I going with all this?

Oh, yes.

Accent-related gullibility. As the LOLcats would say: I has it.

And now? I’m tired (see yesterday’s post). Go ahead, accented peoples. Tell me something.

I’ll be over here, on the couch, possibly watching programming I won’t admit to later.

33 comments:

Bevie said...

Love the British accent. That goes for Australians, too. Like the Irish, Danish, and Swedish accents, too. Not so keen on French and Italian.

Here in the States we got: Northeastern, Southern, Midwestern, Texas, Western, and Californian.

Personally, I say Mee-nee-sew-tah. (Not really, but it makes me laugh when I hear it said that way. It's cute.)

ugich konitari said...

Pearl, you aint heard nothing yet. Wait till January.

We r like that only....

darsden said...

You should hear Braja and her beautiful aussie accent! Wonderfully soft and so full of spirit. (yep I called her to confess how much I stalk my blogger friends ;-)
But you are right an accent will make me turn my head...also a uniform! (military-raises one eyebrow)
Of Course...I am sure Braja is still laughing at "my southern accent"...you know how slow we talk...I had to sell everything on ebay for that phone call... ;-)

Emily said...

My sister married an Australian, and women will just blatantly hit on him/gush about the cuteness of his accent right in front of her. It's like they can't even help it.

The Grandpa said...

S's cousin is from Australia, and he has a job as a Santa. He actually is a very convincing Santa both in appearance and spirit. And it's amazing how many people so quickly accept that people at the North Pole talk just exactly like people in Australia. It us a very endearing accent.

♥ Braja said...

Oh dahling...you and i will get on FABULOUSLY. I'll be sure to speak in my most adorable accent...
:))
Hey send me your phone number :)

And Grandpa's right: all Santa's helper sound like me :))

And Darsden is SO SOUTHERN :))
x
xxx

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I'm with ya on that one. I adore accents. I SO wish I'd married a Scot, an Irishman, or an Australian or someone with a fabulous accent like that.

I specifically picked my husband because he had an Oklahoma pin on and I thought he'd have a Southern accent. But I wuz robbed! He moved to CA when he was six, so no accent! Bummer.

PS: I voted for you so Liza Bean can have a treat.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Yes, we Canadians also love us a British accent. If Mr. Dyson would only wear a firefighter's uniform, I'd buy a vacuum from him too.

Eskimo Bob said...

We had a Dyson - it was good. We have a Kirby; it isn't as flexible as the Dyson.

I go for the Korean accent myself. Which reminds me of a post I was supposed to write. . .

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Pearl,

While I am facinated with foreign accents, it's the humor that escapes me. There are nuances that just don't translate for me.

U

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Je desire un Franciscos, s'il vous plait. Et, commo es la banos?

Wonder if, in Dublin, they'd be enamored of the Southern drawl...

Ah well; I'll always cherish the image of Pearl using-- in a good sense, sure-- that suckie thing in every room of the manse...

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

You should move here. In the course of a day I get to hear lots of yummy good accents: British, Irish, Australian (hello, my fav!), French and any number of others. I love listening to my husband's co-workers. It's quite an evening when we all go out, very multicultural!

Chris said...

I'm a sucker for a southern accent but that's still mostly English. And whatever accent Valerina Golino has.

Kavi said...

Accents..!! Pearl..when you come here, you'll realise how blessed you are..

:)

IB said...

My whole family is English. I was born there but raised in the US so no accent (dammit!). It's not just you ladies either. My knees buckle when I hear a woman with an English accent (accept for me mum, of course.; that's just weird.

naperville mom said...

I'm okay with all accents but truly find the phone ones real funny...I remember some kids at our school in Bombay had a truly Southern (American) accent:)

Amber Star said...

I am a native Texan so you probably know what I sound like when I talk. When we were in Boston people would go out of their way once I started talking to keep me talking and the more they wanted to hear...well, you know.

I'd love to go to Scotland, but am pretty sure I couldn't understand a thing they said.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Here in India, we worship any accent that is 'foreign', be it Brrrritish, or Amreekan or Auustrailean...as long as it is different from ours (which is rather confusing, because we are all quite distinct from each other)...

Mandy's Kidding said...

My sister swears by the Dyson. It's almost indecent how much she loves that thing.

lizspin said...

Give me an Irish brogue, and I'm putty in your hands. . .

Sweet Cheeks said...

I love British accents! I confess. I just swoon. It's so awful...I rely on nice blogger friends like Red Squirrel to properly translate for me though, as their words are so...what's the word?...NOT AMERICAN!


:)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

One of my favorite "making fun of Americans" thing I've ever seen was that scene from Love Actually when the totally dorky British guy goes to Wisconsin and beautiful girls are all over him because of his accent. SO TRUE!

SweetPeaSurry said...

Heh ... I can do a fairly decent 'joisey' accent for ya doll!

blessings!

Pearl said...

Bevie, the U.S. is crawling with accents. I remember a family trip to Florida once where we stopped in Georgia and I didn’t understand a word that a waitress said to me in on particular truck stop. It was strange…

Ugich, we r like that only.
:-D

Darsden, I enjoy a Southern accent but the Southern charm even more. :-D Southerners have a response to everything it seems, and it’s all so gracious.

Emily, I can see that!

The Grandpa, anything said with an accent becomes believable. Australian Santa? Why not?!

Braja, you will sound endearingly Australian, and I will sound inexplicably Canadian…
And yes – I will send you my phone number. We’ll talk on FB!

Adrian, my next husband will be Irish and will no doubt break my heart…

Mary, if I could find an Irish drummer, I would buy HIM a Dyson.

Eskimo Bob, Korean accents always take me back to that special summer.

U, I would need to travel more, I think, but I enjoy what I know of British humor. Used to hang out with quite a few Russians; and while they were generally intelligent, good-looking, and threw a good party, I never found them funny.

Cygnus, I think you should take your drawl to London and see how you fare. (And be sure to report back on it!)

Blogging Mama Andrea, I suspect it all sounds quite musical as well!

Chris, I like that, your saying that a Southern accent is still considered English (mostly). I love all the little differences “pop’, “flapjacks”, “poorboy”, moggies”, all the little words that make it so much fun to listen in.

Kavi, I understand that India has a large number of accents, most of which I can guarantee you I have never heard before. I have gotten much better at an Indian accent (primarily because the Indians I have met have all been wonderfully educated).
I am trying not to think of the trip. I am saving as much money as I can, but this won’t be real until I get my passport.

IB, that’s very interesting, that you don’t have the same accent as your family! Well, okay, it’s really interesting to me, anyway. Do you think that their having been raised elsewhere changes their sentence structure, too?

Naperville Mom, oh, that’s funny. I like the idea of choosing an accent.

Amber Star, ah, I had a similar experience in Mexico, where someone thought my accent was so funny that I just told story after story. It may have been the margaritas, but I firmly believe I was brilliant. :-D
Scotland might be tough, I agree…

Sucharita, so all over the world, we wish to be what we are not! More universal truths!

Mandy’s Kidding, that’s because the DYSON rocks! No, really. The damn thing is just so intuitive to take apart/put together, the suction is fabulous, and it empties easily.
:-D

Lizspin, the Irish do have something going on, don’t they? Do they know that? I’ll bet they do.

Sweet Cheeks, they just sound so sure of themselves, don’t they? Them and they’re big words! :-D

Pearl said...

Kate, it IS true – British Dorks! Bring your dorky asses to the U.S., where your accent should grease the skids for you indefinitely!

SweetPea Surrey, now the Jersey accent, there’s one for the books as well. Where does that come from? What you got there? Italians? Portuguese? Polish? I’m not up on New Jersey…

fingers said...

That is the stupidest reason ever for buying a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
I bought mine coz I love watching all the dirt go round and round and round and round.
It's like one of those little snow ornaments...only with dirt...

Gadjo Dilo said...

You're making me go all gooey! Yes, I have a British accent, albeit a slightly stuttery one; and I was also once in your city where a very nice lady in a shop almost collapsed when she heard me speak: "Oh I love Jane Austen and all those shows with Mrs Marple!" I've had a warm feeling about Mineapolis ever since.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Hey! The ad was true, accent or not. Dyson vacs definitely are awesome.

I wouldn't swap mine for another make. I have a Dyson "Animal", on account of it is very good at picking up dog hair.

Accents are fascinating though, and did you ever notice they can be catching?

Bevie said...

"I remember a family trip to Florida once where we stopped in Georgia and I didn’t understand a word that a waitress said to me"

I get that in Minnesota now. [smiles]

kimber p said...

Oh Pearl ..when I read your posts I feel like I've just stumbled into a parallel universe where talk of sweepers automatically lead us to those LOLcats and without missing a beat, it all makes perfectly coherent sense...I love reading your blog :) :) :)

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

heheh! I already wrote about our numerous Indian accents (yes, there is more than one!) at 'Bhee are like thees only', so you can check that out and fume some more!!

Tami said...

You nailed it on this one. It's why British people telling dirty jokes are so funny - it's like an oxymoron to be so proper sounding in such a filthy way.

The Jules said...

Arse! Can't believe I missed an opportunity to show how amazingly British my accent is.

Chuffin' hell.