What’s in an accent?

It appears that I am slowly being drawn into the league of Yam-Yams.  In Solihull there are usually only subtle variaties of the the West Midlands family of accents, but since I’ve worked in West Brom for the last year or so I am surrounded by people from the Black Country…and the accent is proving contagious.  I used to really dislike the Brummy/Black Country way of speaking but I really quite like it now.  However, what is in an accent?

I’m from Sheffield.  I’ve never had a broad accent but have been fiercely proud of my city and whenever the tones of my speach betrayed my origin I was filled with a warm glow.  At some times I have loathed other accents, considered them inferior, particularly when I lived in London and felt like the only northerner out of 9 million people.

But should an accent be forced?  You see I’m faced with a dilemma now:

a) Do I let nature take its course and allow whatever accent pours forth to do so regardless of what I sound like and who it identifies me as?

b) Do I supress the Brumminess and very carefully and deliberately cling onto and nurture my Sheffield accent?

I believe it would sound better but is it fake to force yourself to speak in a certain way?  Help!  Anybody else ever had similar problems?  I am from Sheffield and will never forget it, it has made me who I am.


3 thoughts on “What’s in an accent?

  1. Yep i fully sympathise with your prob, I’m in exile in wales now for 16 yrs, and after a couple of pints of the falling down water, the accent slides.
    Hold on to the accent, my friend, identity is important
    all the best Gareth

  2. Yeah, had some friends from Sheffield stay the weekend, and it was the fact that I so easily slipped back into Sheffield speach that made me think about it.

    Interestingly, comments on my facebook said that I should embrace what ever accent comes around and to force something else would be fake.

    You’re right, identity is important, but I need to recognise that where I live and work now is shaping me just as my cherished formative years in the North have made me who I am.

  3. Totally agree with the embracing the new place you live, but the fact you are a little “different” with the accent is a good thing, makes you more … er individual, to be fake would be wrong, you’ll probably end up with a new hybrid accent , which would be interesting !

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