People mailbag

When I cracked open my People magazine the other week, this was a letter in the MailBag that I saw.

Do any of you have accents? Most people I’ve found say they don’t have one. But you ask someone else from another part of the country, world or even their own state and they will say yes, you do have one. I know in our state of Minnesota, there are many MANY different accents. We say “Yauh, Sure, and You Betchca. Of course there are many variations and many exaggerations. Take the movie Fargo, that is how we talk somewhat but it is very exaggerated. It was a comedy after all. Here’s a little clip. I will say most of us didn’t like this movie at first. It felt like we were being made fun of to much.

I will say however that most of us talk like Sarah Palin. And that’s not a bad thing in my opinion.

But the question is, unless the accent is done really bad, I like them. Don’t you? If there’s a movie taking place say in NYC, don’t you want to hear the accents of it? Or Boston or down south? Even another country. I feel it would seem all the more off if there was a movie taking place say in the deep south with no southern accent. Or in England with no accent. How odd would that seem?

My cousin Audra can talk to me on the phone and if she talks to her sister, her sister knows she’s talked to me without her even saying so. She will inadvertently say something the way I say it. I think it’s kind of cute.

Would you like to see all movies do away with accents or do you enjoy them? Unless they are done bad that is.

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16 Responses to People mailbag

  1. SKL says:

    Accents are interesting and fun, as long as you can understand the person. I deal with many, many accents on a daily basis and I generally do pretty well. However, I do get pretty frustrated with some people when we are trying to communicate something important and it’s not working. I don’t blame them, but I just would rather talk to someone else. These people (2 in particular come to mind) also happen to be the type who don’t communicate well in writing either. Ugh. When I get a call from one of them (president of one of my nonprofit boards), I always let it go to voice mail, because I know the call will be painful. Then I will follow up with email. This probably pisses her off, but oh well.

    So no, I don’t want movies to do away with accents. But like you said, the accents should be realistic and not detract from the storyline. If you can’t do it right, don’t pretend.

  2. Ellen says:

    I like accents. And I like them in movies. Especially the accents in the English language. I start to recognize accents here in the USA, I love them all. But I really adore the diversity of the British accents.
    I do have a strong Dutch accent, which I really dislike, but the American people here love it. I really cannot imagine what is so cute about a Dutch accent. It sounds to me so unprofessional.

  3. mssc54 says:

    I was born in Louisiana but raised in Mississippi and have been in South Carolina since the mid 70s. I think it’s fair to say that I’m about as Southern as a person can get. For some strange reason I have zero accent. Seriously.

    It bugs the tar out of me when some actors try to do a Southern Drawl. It’s usually some half-wit, incestueous, corrupt person.

  4. Laura says:

    I do like authentic accents… the girl from Harry Potter comes to mind, she played Cho Chang, and she was very Scots.

    Like everyone else, I just don’t like them when they’re not done well. Just the other day, I read an article at Irish Central about actors, including Sean Connery, who absolutely butchered Irish accents. On one hand, it was hilarious (they had clips of some of them), but on the other, you have to just wonder… they’re professionals. Don’t they care about their craft? Seriously, they can afford a linguistics coach, and even if they can’t, won’t the production company pay for it?

    It’s one thing to have an exaggerated accent in a movie/show that’s spoofing something (Tina Fey/Sarah Palin/SNL comes to mind), but quite another when you’re seriously portraying the region, and you screw it up.

    As for me? I don’t have much of an accent, but I can do like your friend does, Joy. I find myself imitating the accent I’m dealing with. When I was in Texas for two years, I said a lot of “Fixin’ tuh”, and “y’all” (both of which have stuck with me), but I never quite could bring myself to say, “Might could.” And lately, my language has been peppered with English phrases, because I’ve been watching a lot of “Vicar of Dibley” (the most awesomest show ever).

  5. Karen Joy says:

    I wouldn’t want them to do away with accents in movies,that would seem very odd.I do want to be able to understand what they are saying though.The movie Australia with Nicole Kidman instantly came to mind.Both my husband and i had an awfully hard time understanding what was being said as the accents were very strong.It took a good part of the movie until we ,I guess it would be,”got used” to it and understood better,Was a great movie though.
    What Audra does after talking with you I too used to do that with friends of mine from Texas.I would spend a good part of the summer with them(this is years ago)and in no time start sounding like a Texan.Never doing it on purpose,though no one ever believed that!

  6. SKL says:

    Oh yes, my accent molds itself to my environment a lot, and even the books I’m reading affect the way I talk!

    • Laura says:

      Hah! I do that too, with books… I noticed it the first time with the Harry Potter series, perhaps because it’s so easy to immerse myself in them.

      And I’ve had to bust Steve more than once, when he called Cruiser a “dozy dog” – a favorite phrase of Hagrid’s.

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I like accents in movies. If done right it adds to the movie.
    I have an accent. I am from Texas, but I was raised by yankees. I have to laugh because when I was younger we would call my grandmother, who lived in New Hampshire, once a month. I would get off the phone and say “I didn’t understand a word she said” and my grandmother would say the same to my mom!

  8. Sue says:

    You can’t do away with accents! I hated Fargo and I am sorry but we don’t talk anything like that! It wasn’t the sayings so much as the accent in that movie. I have relatives in Kansas City, MO and they have a southern accent which is funny to me b/c I don’t consider that a southern state. Some actors can do an accent very well and others should be hung out to dry for portraying them so poorly!

  9. pammywammy says:

    I like accents as long as its done right.Like us Canadians say,I am canadian HEY!I love the way the USA people say “ROOF”.I love listening to other peoples accents.I think its pretty cool.Joy,I love your accent.I use to love listening to your mom when I was a kid 🙂

  10. Nikki says:

    Ok I am just mad…I wrote a LONG comment and it disappeared. I’ll rewrite it in a bit….UGH!

  11. Nikki says:

    Okay, I’ll try again and if it disappears I give up!

    I LOVE accents, all of them. I find them endearing, and unique. I loved the movie Fargo, but I do not think it portrayed US. Maybe people more north but no, I don’t think ours is that think by any means. The movie made me laugh though.

    I do think we sound similar to Palin. I was offended when friend from Montana was making fun of her accent, calling her stupid and why would anyone want a president that sounded so stupid. I asked her if she thought I was stupid. Obviously she said no, and I believe she felt bad. As she should. An accent does not in any way determine your intellect.

    We watch Heroes, and there is one character that tries an Irish accent. I think it’s Irish, it’s a horrible one though, it comes and goes and that is very irritating. I think actors need to practice that more. Isn’t it funny though, how easy it is for foreigners to speak in an American accent? It’s so easy for them to break away from their accents, no matter how strong it is.

  12. Laura says:

    I love the way some Minnesotans, and those from Northern Wisconsin… maybe it’s just the Northwoods Region… say “boat”. It’s more like “boot”. “We’re going oot in the boot.” It cracks me up sometimes, but it’s just one of those things that’s very endearing to me.

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