Blame it on my high school drama teacher who commanded me to “lose the Southern accent” or maybe I watched “My Fair Lady” one too many times. (Yes, I’m one of those people who sings along with every musical.) While I suffer from what I term affected language disorder*, wherein I find myself picking up the linguistic habits of whomever I’m around, otherwise the most anyone can pinpoint upon meeting me is that I’m not likely to be a northerner. I’ve heard of others who also slip into similar speech patterns when around certain groups. I think the entire American teenage population suffers from this so severely that sometimes they cease speaking English altogether.
Sadly, it strikes early on and requires a strict regimen of grammar policing to prevent a life-long chronic case of “ZOMG, I no can spekiz.” In my house, I battle that and ghetto-speak. I haven’t figured out which is worse.
Mr. Smarty-Pants can, without much of an accent, use “prerogative” in a sentence. Ten seconds later he’s talking into the Play Station’s head set complaining that “That’s booty man. How they leave a brother like that?”
His sister, Miss Diva, dons the ghetto accent with even more ease as she takes charge and commands that all the internet, or at least those enduring the misfortune of gaming on the same server, aid her in winning or else.
So far, Miss Drama only slips once in awhile. Personally, I think this is due to the fact that she is more stubborn that the other two put together. She’d rather march to her own tune than whatever tune the crowd is playing. Of course, this also means she may ignore proper grammar and make up her own.
Were Henry Higgins to visit, he might keel over from language abuse. Of course, this is America, and according to Higgins, we haven’t spoken English for years. Sure, he’s a fictional character, but I find arguing with characters unwise. He might collude with one of mine and convince them to be uncooperative. A writer can’t be too careful.
*NOT a real diagnosis, disease, or ailment. Also I am NOT a doctor.