As I have traveled to different places in the world, I am always amused when people claim, “We have no accent.” It’s true — if they have never lived anywhere else. But my contention is that we all have accents.
I admit that there are standard accents. In England, there is the BBC broadcaster’s accent, which is a kind of measuring stick. The American equivalent would be what one can hear on the national nightly news. In Kenya, national radio broadcasts are spoken in a standard baseline Swahili that is most easily understood by the largest majority of the listening population. But those are still accents!
Another factor is saturation. If we are used to hearing a particular voice on a long-term basis, we put their voice into our accent-less category. In high school, my friend Bryan’s mom was from Quebec. She had a wonderful French-Canadian lilt. He thought she had no accent. My dad grew up in Texas. Bryan claimed he had a southern accent. I thought he had none.
The lovely model for today’s photo is my daughter Rachel.