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Re: OT-Pronunciation

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: OT-Pronunciation
  • From: "J. Griffin Crump" <jgcrump@erols.com>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 17:49:22 -0700 (MST)

Bill Shear wrote:
> Ian's comments were interesting.  According to my family, whenever I return
> from a trip abroad or to another part of North America, I come back with
> some sort of accent.  A few years ago in Ireland I was consistantly
> mistaken for a native by local people, just from "some other part of
> Ireland."  This may be extreme and a result of my compulsive tendency to
> mimic others.
> Recently I read of a study which focused on how people adjust the tone of
> their voice to match that of the person to whom they are talking.
> According to the researchers, the person who changes tone the most is the
> more submissive of the pair.  Looking at politician/interviewer pairs, they
> found that Bill Clinton changed tone the least, and Dan Quayle the most.
> Hmmmm.
> A former student of mine who lived in England for three years in the early
> 90's still has a very noticible accent.  Of course, English friends find it
> easy to imitate the way we speak, too.  I'm always amused when they do
> this--sounds like they're loosing their accent.  Reminds me of our
> congressman, who has a very strong SW Virginia accent.  He was asked during
> his campaign for election if he felt his accent would hurt him among
> upscale voters, and replied "What accent?"
> OK, OK, this is really OT!  I'll shut up about it if you will.

Bill -- Since this is OT, I won't abbreviate your foregoing comments.
Your observations are very interesting and entertaining. Although my
roots are southern, I am a native Hoosier. I spent my last two years of
college in a school in the Midwest dominated by New England classmates
and faculty, and followed that with a post-graduate semester in Bedford,
Massachusetts. During the following year, as a young soldier in
Baltimore and Washington, I was repeatedly asked if I was from Boston!

Senator Dick Lugar, who was the last of three Mayors of Indianapolis
under whom I served as executive director of the city's Human Rights
Commission (1963-1971), never got over his time as a Rhodes scholar at
Oxford and still sounds like a Brit, which may be one reason why his
runs for the Presidency have fallen flat (Deo gratias!).

Griff Crump, along the tidal Potomac near Mount Vernon, VA 

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