Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Accent Discrimination

I guess Amy Dickinson is the new Ann Landers - who knew? Anyway today's column has the headline "'Fargo' Accent Bothers Her", and the advice-seeker says she's met a man online and he seems wonderful, but he has this dreadful northern Michigan accent: "And it really is a discordant note to my ears." The most interesting part of her letter, though, is where she says "I came from a rural area in Wisconsin, and the first thing I worked on when I went off to college was the sloppy diction, etc., that I grew up with. Now, no one would guess where I was born." How sad that she didn't get to go to UW and participate in the wonderful Wisconsin Englishes project! [Shameless plug]
I was pleasantly surprised, though, that Amy responds with "I fail to see what is so awful about this," and goes on to say "when everyone in North America starts to sound like an anchorman, we will have lost something important, not to mention charming." We need to let her know there's no danger of that, and we also need to work harder on PR for knowledge of basic linguistics!

1 comment:

The Ridger, FCD said...

Something that always amazes me is the readiness to identify a different way of speaking as "sloppy" or "lazy" or some other moral deficiency.