Friday, August 26, 2011

No apologies offered

"You have a really strong British accent."

"Actually, it's a speech disorder."

Normally, when I tell someone that my awesome accent really isn't an accent, their response is to immediately apologize. But this particular young woman didn't seem to feel the need to.

I liked that.

It always irritates me when people say "I'm sorry" as soon as I tell them that the accent they just complimented or commented on is actually a speech disorder. It's as though they're saying it was wrong of them to notice it, and wrong for them to comment. Maybe that's not what they mean, but that's how it usually comes across.

There's nothing wrong with noticing how I speak. It's virtually impossible not to hear a British/Australian/Southern/other "exotic" accent when I open my mouth. And yes, my speech disorder has been described by one or two people as exotic. lol :)

(If you want to hear what it sounds like, I have a video in this blog post where you can hear the awesome accent that isn't an accent.)

I think that sometimes when people apologize they're also trying to be sympathetic. I don't mind sympathy, but I don't need it for this. Not anymore. It's true that I needed LOTS of help and sympathy when I was little, but the days of being unable to communicate are long gone. Besides, on the occasions that I simply can't pronounce a word correctly I can always spell it out (literally) to make myself understood. Problem solved!

So it irritates me when people apologize, although I may be unique in my irritation.

And I liked that this woman accepted my speech disorder without saying "I'm sorry."



Debra She Who Seeks said...

Some people like that young woman are starting to learn that difference is not something to regret or pity. Now just more people need to learn it!

Sarita Rucker said...