05 October 2007

Speaking For Effect

After spending a week or so in Munich at Oktoberfest listening to amazing people having fascinating conversations about nothing much at all, I realized something significant: Accents are hot.

The problem with accents being so attractive is the irrational way we respond to them. For some reason we are just predisposed to believe that someone with an English or French accent is sophisticated and classy. Or smart and sexy, or whatever. It's just hot.

In reality, there is no reason to assume any amount of additional intelligence or class just because of their verbal mannerisms. The guys from Britain sit around with their hands in their pants watching cricket, just the same as the guys from Jersey sit around watching baseball with their hands in their pants.

And while a girl might have a totally suave Italian voice, it isn't going to do her much good in a crowded nightclub unless she's got a great pair of . . . er . . . let's just say "other assets".

Let's face it, you can speak with the coolest accent in the world and still be dumber than a bag of hammers. Even so, you'll still see people perking up like they're listening to lottery numbers every time some French accent reaches their ears.

During my travels, I've learned one other way to help combat the unfair advantage imposed by a cool accent. Get drunk. When you are both slurring and sloshing and happy, nobody can understand anybody and you'll still have a great time. It might not help you ward off the coolness factor completely but it might buy you some breathing room to get collect your wits. And if not, it gives you a great excuse for why you did what with whomever when you face your friends the next day.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Ken, It's Kara -- I actually do check your blog fairly regularly! When I saw your thing about accents I couldn't help but laugh remembering coming home from some church camp and you driving me absolutely nuts (not in a good way!) because you were stuck on speaking some Austrailian accent!!!! So just wanted you to know you've had that accent fascination for some time!