So I recently saw a blog post by my fellow classmate, Jenna, on linguistic accents and basically why people should not comment on them. I found this really interesting because I live in the South, and obviously, I know I have an accent. I have also met many people from every part of the United States and quite a variety of people from around the world.
They all have accents!
Living in the world we do, I feel that there are two types of people. Those who are content to stay in their cultural/geographical bubble, and those who branch out. For as long as I can remember, I have been the type to want to branch out. I love learning about different cultures, I love hearing different languages, and dialects within those languages, and I love to travel.
However, this was not always the case. The town I grew up in was as close to the stereotypical, small, country, backwoods town as it could get. No one ever left, and if someone was brave enough to actually try, they almost always came back. In middle school, I had new teachers from Indiana and Florida that helped knocked me loose from this stuck-in-nowhere cycle that I probably would have ended up on (thank you Teach For America!). From them, I learned that all the places I knew were out there in the world were not just there, they were accessible to me, and this completely changed my world view, and myself.
Mainly, it made me more motivated to not just learn about all these other things in the world and the people that came with them, but to accept them into my own world-view.
Why is this little anecdote important? Because it made me one of the people that breaks out of their bubble. It made me one of the people that gets irritated when someone comments on someone’s accent.
Jenna brings up several good points and she does so in a way that is relateble and humorous. She gives her audience an easy read, but what is interesting about her post is that it is actually super serious. So many social problems today are caused because people cannot step out of their bubble and accept the fact that the world does not revolve around them, their culture, or their accent. People are ostracized for this, and that’s messed up. I commend Jenna on blogging about it, and I commend her on how she did it.
I also feel that this relates to digital rhetoric and the digital environment because of a point Jenna brings up as well. Behind a computer screen, on the internet, no one knows how I talk, no one knows how Jenna talks or anyone else. It makes me think that, at least in that way, writing for the digital environment is more forgiving than verbal communication. As writers and producers, we get to choose how much a person knows about the way we talk and communicate. It also gives me hope that one day, people will get over their ethnocentrism and realize language is one of the most beautiful things about the human experience because it is an art that depends solely on the individual speaking it.
So while I’m learning about all the other dialects and cultures in the world, I’m gonna continue to say me “yall’s,” “ain’ts,” and drop my “g’s” as I please.
Thank you, much. 😉