The Quote of the Day that inspired my A to Z Challenge theme –
A Word for the Day that takes on many meanings.

Quote of the Day: A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator. John Steinbeck

Word of the Day: Accent

I found 11 definitions for accent as a noun, and two as a verb. I’d like to put the accent on this one: the characteristic mode of pronunciation of a person or group, especially one that betrays social or geographical origin.

The United States of America is filled with a variety of accents. I have a distinct Mid-Western accent, don’t ya know. I say “Uff-da” and sometimes end my sentences with “then.” I lived in Grand Forks, ND for a while, which is a short ice chunk ride up the river to Canada where they say “eh” and sweep their leaves to the “berm.” I don’t know a West Texas accent from one from Georgia, but I’ll bet the Southern folks do.

Most American women tend to swoon over the French accent. The Oscars were vocally sexy this year with so many wins for The Artist (a movie I loved, by the way). When Jean Dujardin speaks just two words as George Valentin, “Weeth pleasure,” I nearly swooned in my theatre seat.

Not all accents are so well received by Americans. When we call a technical service line and the guy on the other end has a Middle Eastern accent, our frustration level increases. Not only do we not speak the techie talk, but now we can barely understand basic instructions like, “First make sure the computer is turned on.” Although they’re saying all the right words in the right order, the accent is on the “wrong” syllable and the cadence of the sentence ees off.

We can feel a sense of danger from certain accents. Some people are quickly labeled for their accent. We can also feel helpless when we need the information from a doctor or professor, but the words don’t come out clear. The best we can do here is to ask for them to write it down.

Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt:  Do you judge people by their accent? Have you ever been judged? Frustrated by it? Stopped going somewhere because the accent got in the way of communication?