Becky Says...

February 2005

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Voices - February 21

I have had occasion in the past few days to think about voices. Speaking voices. And accents and all things related. So I thought I'd tell you about a few of the voices and accents I've enjoyed hearing most in my life.

My number one all time favorite speaking voice to hear is that of one of my chosen brothers. It's Southern, and smooth, and in timber about midway between tenor and baritone. It's a kind voice using gentle words, most of the time. But the man can be very, very inventive with the cursewords when he needs them.

Another of the chosen brothers has lost a bit of his Southern accent, in part from being a DJ and in part from living elsewhere. His is what some would call All-American. I wouldn't argue that point at all. It's retained just enough of the South for me to recognize its roots instantly, on a level several below conscious.

The first chosen brother was from the Midwest. He had an accent from two different states, with a little Southern thrown in by the time I got to know him, but you'd never mistake him for a Southerner.

When a friend of mine moved to Washington, DC from California, I wondered how his speech patterns and accent would change. And he didn't make me wait too long to find out. One evening he called and announced there was a problem with the "DEE-frost-er" on his truck. I'm sure he wondered why I was trying so hard not to laugh. And in case you were wondering, I don't live far enough down south to call it other than a "de-FROST-er."

But the absolute best adoption of an accent was one by a friend from New York, who came to North Carolina to school and wound up marrying a woman from up in the North Carolina mountains. Those of us in attendance at the ceremony were a little startled to hear him drawl, "I do," when asked if he took this woman to be his wife. We listened very carefully at the reception, to see if he would repeat the drawled-I pronunciation. Sure enough, he did. And over the years, he's added more and more magnolia leaves to his daily diet, apparently. You'd almost mistake him for a native.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky