I posted this on a discussion forum recently, thought I might broaden the audience....
Years ago, when I first started in seminary, I remember talking to a
classmate. She had gone to University as a mature student and so was
older than most of her class mates. In one class the instructor asked
if anyone had an accent. She put her hand up. The rest of the class
was confused because she spoke like any Prairie Canadian, so she
obviously did not speak with an accent. But her point was that we ALL
speak with an accent.
I propose that we not only all speak with an accent. We also think and
write with an accent. We are all a product of a culture (in some cases
we are the product of a fusing of 2 or more cultures). That shapes how
we think, how we understand the world, what we expect from the world,
how we respond to the world. This accent is the result of many factors.
Some would include geography, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,
socio-economic status/class, age/era in which we grew up, level of
education of both ourselves and the key people in our lives, our
So what is your accent? What formed it? How does your accent determine
how you interact in the world? How do you (or can you)
translate/restate/revisualize things from your accent to make it more
understandable to someone with another accent? How willing are you to
understand one who has a different accent?
It is important to ask these questions. Because otherwise we forget
that we have an accent, and then it is easier to complain about other
people's accents. And then communication becomes just that much more