Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Deep Dark (well maybe not so dark) Secret

Supermindy's recent blog entry has compelled me to write about the thing I hardly talk about.

You know those annoying people who break out into different accents frequently?

Well, I'm one of them.

Remember that episode of Friends where Monica's friend goes to England and comes back with a British accent?

I'm what you call a natural mimic. I hear things and imitate them. I don't think it's a rare condition.

It's usually not a conscious thing. On Friends, it was presented as being a show-off/fake. It's really not like that--at least not for me. I don't sit there and think I will talk Australian today and impress people!

I just talk and it comes out--not all the time. At weird times. And rarely on demand. Well, actually no one demands it except Jack. So maybe it CAN come out on demand--at least with Jack.

The Australia accent thing started before I was even officially Australia-obsessed.

It began with Jack wanting me to play The Wiggles with him. He liked me to pretend to be Dorothy the Dinosaur. And then he got into The Koala Brothers and I had to be Josie the Kangaroo.

So.... I did the accent for our playtime and sometimes found that the accent would slip out when we weren't playing.

When we were in Australia, I felt myself picking it up again. I made a strong effort not to do it in public. I'm not sure why? I guess I'm embarrassed? Afraid I'm delusional and THINK I'm a natural mimic, but I'm really not. Or knowing my luck, the wrong accent would slip out and people would ask me what part of India I'm from. (I'm joking--have absolutely no ability to do Indian!)

I find myself switching accents in front of my family a lot. No one mentions anything. I'm not sure if they just don't notice. Or they're ignoring it--hoping it goes away.

The person who does mention it is Jack.

Jack has me talking quite often these days. Well, because we're playing McLeod's Daughters.

Usually, the accent just pops out of my mouth without any effort.

Every so often, it does not. Once I opened my mouth as Claire and a deep American Southern Accent came out.

Today at the pool, Jack started in on the McLeod's Daughters thing. Okay, if you haven't gotten the picture....he pretty much wants me to constantly be a McLeod's Daughters character. (If we keep going at this rate, I'll likely complete lose my American accent)

I told him I wasn't in the mood. I don't want to do an Australian accent right now.

Well, how about an American McLeod's Daughters?

So, I did that.

Almost immediately Jack told me that this wasn't going to work.

I said if I have to do an accent, he does too.

He tried it for awhile. He did an American accent with a "mate" (mite) thrown in every so often.

Well, there you have it. My big secret.

I read a young adult novel recently and one of the characters did the accent thing. It was presented as a sign of mental instability.

So there you go!

I joked to Tim....or maybe Tabitha. Maybe both? Anyway, I said I can picture what's going to happen. I'll get in a bad accident and wake up in the hospital with delusional amnesia. I'll speak with an Aussie accent and insist I live on Drovers Run.

Well, at least that way I can live in Australia. Okay, so it's only in my mind. But you gotta take whatever you can get. Right?

Another great "accent" scene from Friends.


  1. What a weird coincidence. I speak with an Australian accent too. :)

  2. She's apples, ;)
    Keep practicing and you'll blend right in when you get back ;)

  3. Rodneyolson,

    That IS a weird coincidence!!


    I had never heard of she's apples until you just told me. I had heard only of "She'll be apples."

    I tried saying "She is apples" in my mind and it comes out very Southern-American. I can't get it Australian in my mind.

    Anyway, I probably would NEVER say it. I'm the one who's usually freaking out and causing other people to say things like she'll be apples/she is apples.

    I don't know why. It sounds so Southern to me.

    She'll be apples I reckon. And then I'll be fixin to go to the store. See ya'all later.

  4. I've definitely picked up a bit of a Southern cadence when backpacking in the southern Appalachians but, nonetheless, managed to grow up in the Philadelphia area (and live there now) without having picked up the horrible, nasal Delaware Valley accent! So, the key, I think, is to just pick up the good accents--Irish, Jamaican, 'stralian--and skip the bad ones--Lawnguyland, German, etc.

  5. I bet I could pick it as a fake Aussie accent - I am the quintessential Aussie - tall, tanned, talented, and totally cool baby!!!

  6. We break out into accents here too. Tyrone and Tara especially. Tara plays Barbie's with an American accent which is quite amusing. She never plays it with an Aussie one!

    Ohhh and I love those Friends episodes. They make me laugh everytime! I love Friends :-)

  7. I'm one of those people too.........

    3 days with my friend from new zealand and I was speaking kiwi! lol

  8. Yogaforcynics: I managed to live in the South and NYC without picking up the accents. I'm not sure what type of American accent I have. I guess it's a mixture with a little Australian thrown in ; )

    Knobby: when I come to Australia, I am totally testing your ability. We're going to line up ten people and you're going to have to pick out the fake Australian.

    After that, I'm going to measure and quantify your tanness, height, talent, and coolness. You better measure up!

    What do you win? I'm not sure yet. We'll come up with something.

    Tracey: lol at the Barbie thing. So funny and cute. When we come over, we should totally switch accents. It would be wild.

    I love Friends too! A few weeks ago, Tim and I got all into watching old episodes on YouTube. I had forgotten how funny that show was/is.

    Bettina: I'm glad I'm not alone!!! We should all form a support group. Our nametags would have to say something like "Hi. I'm Dina. I'm really from America." "Hi. I'm Bettina. I'm really from Australia."

  9. Hey my name's Cameron....and i'm Australian :D

    i like that ur so enthused about Australia, it's a great place 2 be.

    Yer Aussie's can tell a fake Aussie accent a mile away, i mean we can even tell when a Kiwi is attempting an Aussie accent and they sound a lot like us.

    keep up the Aussie spirit!

  10. Cameron,

    Good you can spot the fakes.

    I can't. I mean I can't tell when an Australian is faking an American accent.

    They got me fooled.

    So either Australians are better talented at spotting fakes.

    Or Australians are better at faking accents.


    Maybe we're fooling you all. Maybe the bad fake accents you hear are Americans just trying to throw you guys off.

    But in truth, we're really good at faking the accent and we're planning to infiltrate your country with fake Australians.

    Maybe all the Australians you know are truly Americans.

    And maybe I'm not even American.

    Maybe I'm an Australian spy pretending to be an American so I can uncover the American plot to take over Australia.