Posted by: tlnemethy | June 15, 2013

An Accent and a Wink

I picked up my Yooper accent as punishment for mocking the Yooper accent of my peers when I attended college in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I would grade their papers and give them revisions to work on  before they had to turn it in to professors for a grade. It was rewarding and also very diabolically mischievous to scrawl in red pen all over their papers. It was also one of the first chances I got to notice an actual style development that differed between most of my “customers.”

I would read them in the voice of the writer, which coincidentally acted as practice for my dialect development. Sure, I’d already been saying “eh” before I made it to the northland, but I definitely solidified my Yooperisms. But upon graduation, I realized that adopting that accent as my own was slightly embarrassing. I mean, c’mon. Australian accents are cool. Yooper accents are just weird and vaguely Canadian.

But oh ho ho was I wrong. Meeting people from corners of the world has opened my eyes not only to the attractiveness of accents, but also the bad-assery of just being a novel experience. I’ve been stopped multiple times during conversations by people who just want to let me know that they’re fascinated with my accent. Not just a normal or stereotypical American accent, but one with something a little more mysterious and humorous. This leads to an amazing dynamic of sarcasm and teasing that keeps the days rolling on by without seeming like work.

Yeah, I am most -likely to blame for bringing up leprechauns and potatoes around the Irish kids (not really kids, but I still cling dearly to the idea of youth). But I’m not gonna mock people who can’t handle it, or people who don’t give me something to bounce off of. Ireland, as I refer to him in my head, will actually kick up his heels and put on his best Lucky Charms voice while telling people about his pot of gold. I’ve never cracked up so much.

England, one of the many UK individuals, has no sense of sarcasm. I have told her the biggest yarns throughout the day and she’s just now getting to the point where she’ll briefly squint her eyes in doubt before completely agreeing with me. It is beautiful. Mostly, I just yammer on about stupid things that aren’t the same between the countries like bread heels (straight up crusts) or potato chips/fries/crisps.

Like the boy who cried wolf, people have also stopped believing most of the things that come out of my mouth, so when I started showing my friends that there was a porcupine just chilling up in a tree at camp NO ONE believed me until they actually saw it moving around.


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