Thursday, 8 August 2013

Getting to know you.

'Getting to know all about you', as the old song says.   Well yes, here in Blogland if we blog for long enough with our Blogfriends we do get to know them to some extent - in so far as they wish us to impinge on their lives really.

For example I can now be almost sure how Tom (Tom Stephenson on my side bar) will react to a situation.   John (Going Gently) with his hilarious sense of humour and his wonderful kindness to old ladies and assorted animals (not necessarily in that ordert) is also fairly predictable.

Some bloggers I have met - Elizabeth (About New York), Fiona (Marmalade Rose), Denise (Mrs Nesbitt's Space), A J (Morning AJ) to name but four.   So I know a little more about them.

And the one thing I know for sure about them, and can never know about the rest, is what they sound like.   If they put a photograph of themselves on their blog I know what they look like.   I know their thoughts and feelings in so far as they wish me to.   But voices and accents - now there is another thing altogether.

Linda, who lives on a farm in Colorado, Barbara who farms in the Shenandoah Valley, Pondside, Hildred, Loren, Cloudia - if they were all in the room together I am certain I would be overwhelmed by their differing accents.

And voice is quite important isn't it?   I have an accent which to anyone who is good at accents would immediately point me out as 'Northern'.   The farmer is obviously Yorkshire through and through - from his flat cap to his wonderfully accented voice.   Friend M, although she has lived up here for some years, is quite certainly from the South.   We get good at pin -pointing accents in our own country.

These thoughts were prompted by an article in The Times (where else?) this morning by Matthew Syed, speaking about voices on Radio - really the exact opposite of what I am saying about Blogland.   Alexander Gordon has read the classified football results on Radio 4 for a long time and although I have never been even remotely interested in football his voice has always fascinated me - the way he managed to imply who had lost by the inflexion of his voice before he actually told you the score.

Syed also suggests that President Obama is marvellous radio material because his voice has depth, smoothness and 'just a hint of folksiness' - thus conveying that he is 'one of us'.

Voice is so important - perhaps it is sad that Blogland doesn't include a voice element - or is it?

17 comments:

Twiglet said...

I am not sure what I sound like any more! A country girl, born in a Shropshire village, educated at a girl's grammar school (had to speak correctly there!) followed by nearly 40 years in Yorkshire and now living just in Wales!!!

John Gray said...

Sometimes a voice can throw you, because in your mind' s eye you often have a voice in your head when you read someone else's words.
Vera in her small holding in France sometimes blogs a video... And her accent ( southern and to my untrained ear Kentish accent) threw me somewhat.....
When I post videos
Many readers comment on my voice....
Weird eh?

As for tom, I would love to hear one of his famous rants
I would record it
And play it back on a loop
It would keep the pigeons off my cabbages
Good post Patricia x

A Heron's View said...

Not having lived in the UK for over twenty-five years. I now find it sometimes difficult to put an English county to the dialect that I am hearing. In fact I often have to refer to my wife and ask her, if she too thinks that the speaker is actually English!

MorningAJ said...

My accent changes, depending on who I talk to. I'm not sure my voice does though. Famously, Mrs T modulated her voice and trained herself to speak in a lower register, so that the male dominated parliament would take her more seriously. It is an important factor in our views of people.

Pondside said...

Interesting.
When I visited the UK in September (and how I wish I'd known you were so close!) I was surprised at the many different accents. Accent isn't such a big thing here - we have a huge country and few regional differences aside from Newfoundland. The women I met, with whom I'd been corresponding for five years, each came from a different part of the country and had her own distinct accent. I think it would be fun to arrange a link-up and each of us record something.

Heather said...

I was once told I had a London accent and took it as a compliment, then wondered if I sounded like a Cockney! My teacher at infant school was very keen on 'round vowels' so I hope I managed to please her. Voices are important and it doesn't matter what the accent is as long as the tone is not harsh. I don't like hearing my voice or seeing photos of myself and suppose I still sound a bit 'London'.

Dave King said...

Some very important issues raised here - deserving serious discussion, perhaps?

John Gray said...

Oh dear
That's telling me

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love accents and have always found it interesting how differently people sound even in the same area of our country (USA) My husband is from Wisconsin (midwest) and had a very strong accent when I met him - I am from California (west coast) and he has gradually changed to a west coast accent after living here for years and years.

We went back to Wisconsin for his 50th class reunion and I felt right at home among the very strong accents - and realized how different he sounded - but by the end of our vacation in Wisconsin his accent had returned quite a bit (it is gone now that we are back home). His classmates all commented on how west coast he sounded. It was a fun time for sure.

I often read blogs in what I think is the person's voice - and am probably completely wrong. Southerners in the US have quite a bit of the English accent in their speech, though their words come out less crisply, but the similarity is there. I'm not sure now, which English accent as I see that you have differences even in your small country - that is very interesting.

Our grandson Ben is a master at imitating accents from anyplace in the world - he can hear a few words in an accent and then continue the conversation completely in that accent - he could do this since he was 4 - I think he will be good at learning languages.

Loren said...

Considering how hard I often find it difficult to understand exactly what's been said in programs like Inspector Morse, it might be a good thing that blogs use language, not voices.

Of course, I don't follow many blogs that don't have their "own voice."

mrsnesbitt said...

Northern accents eh Pat? The one area which leaves me speechless is Sunderland and likewise them to our accent. I was asked which part of Wales I was from! lol!

Barbara said...

I love accents of all kinds, they make conversations SO interesting, so yes, I think this would be a great addition to the blogosphere. Like JoAnn, I find myself reading in different accents/voices for different people, but that gets more than a little strange when I finally hear "the real thing".

Our Virginia accent is a mix of many things, the Deep South, our English heritage and a lot of odd country things. I'm pretty sure it's much different than anything y'all have over there, Pat.

We have a customer who is originally from London and he likes to tease me about the way I say things. Often while he is speaking, people will just stop and listen as his accent is so distinctly different than our local sound. The funniest thing is that he is so concerned that his 7 year old is beginning to sound like a "Yank".

Hildred said...

Very interesting Pat. When I was young and newly married strangers used to think I was a 'war bride' so I think perhaps some of my mother's Middlesex accent had rubbed off on me, - if I want to know what I sound like now I just need to phone my elder daughter.

I would be very hard pressed to recognize county accents, as many seem to do in England, but I love the Australian, the Welsh and Irish, and of course the Scots - I think a lot has to do with your association with different people, - if you are fond of the people you have a warm spot in your heart for their accent....

Rachel said...

I am also very fascinated by accents. When I lived in Newcastle many years ago it was possible to say which side of the Shields Road somebody came from by their accent. This is also true around here in S Norfolk where accents can vary slightly from one village to the next.

Dominic Rivron said...

I think the written word can sometimes be more revealing. By the way we say things we can make things sound better (or worse) than they are. The absence of inflection and body language puts us on the spot.


Linda Metcalf said...

John (Going Gently) has made several videos with his voice telling us what's what....It is wonderful to hear that voice! It gives a better idea of the person I think!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I do agree with John about hearing one of Tom's famous rants. It seems we are all agreed on voices though. Thanks for joining in the debate.