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Heaps… Would it bother you Heaps, if I typed it Heaps

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Do you notice that when you hang around someone for a while, you kind of start to talk like him/her?

I am probably one of the worst people when it comes to this little marvel of the subconscious. I remember when I was planning my upcoming study abroad trip back in college. Instead of going with my own university sponsored trip, I decided to enrol with UGA — the University of Georgia.

Yep, from the south.

And in order to get my tickets, courses, and all that sorted, I needed to talk on the phone with people from UGA — people with strong southern accents.

In one single phone conversation, I noticed immediately that I started talking with the woman with more of a drawl.

In ONE CONVERSATION.

Luckily it took me almost an entire semester with my new friends from UGA until I threw out my first y’all. You should have seen the expressions of joy on everyone’s faces when it happened (everyone’s except for mine, that is, haha)!

How I feel when I say something strange, like "y'all" or "capsicum".

How I feel when I say something strange, like “y’all” or “capsicum”.

While this little subconscious wonder can be annoying at times, it is also the same reason that I love taking immersion language lessons. I can’t speak Russian for shit, vocabulary-like, but I have been complimented countless times on my accent (when in better practice).

You might be seeing where I’m going with this one already…

A few months ago, I asked for people to fill out a little site survey. I loved getting feedback from people, which was mostly positive, and I especially looked forward to the free comment section. The majority of people didn’t fill that section out, but some did, and it was awesome.

One person however commented on how he/she didn’t like it that I wrote with the word “heaps”.

Of all things in the world to comment on, it was my use of “heaps” in my blog posts. I mean…

Yes, I can see where this person is coming from. When a word is not in your natural vocabulary, it sounds weird, foreign, or even forced to hear someone else speaking — or typing — with it commonly.

But trust me, buddy, I am not forcing that one a single bit!

The truth is that I live in Australia now, and have for a very long time. I have done my darnedest to keep that American accent alive and well (trust me!), but now I have to accept that I talk a “little funny”.

Australian is now a little bit of who I am.

I hang out with this guy all the time, so...

I hang out with this guy all the time, so…

And even though I cringe when I toss out the Aussie word or two — like calling ketchup “tom-ah-to sauce” and asking people “How ya going?” — at least heaps is a word I actually kinda like. In all seriousness, writing “a lot” sounds a bit funny and overused to me now. Yeah. Funny how that all works.

So, dear readers, I’m sorry if I type heaps from time to time and it throws you off when reading (I know that little red light that probably flashes briefly in the background of your brain), but I am a person that cannot help but subconsciously mold my speech to my surrounds. Please don’t hate me.

Does anyone else here dislike it when I use heaps in my blog posts? Can anyone here relate to my subconscious need to blend linguistically with my surrounds?

Tell me, tell me, tell me.

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56 Responses to Heaps… Would it bother you Heaps, if I typed it Heaps

  1. Amy September 24, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    I love reading the word ‘heaps’ – it makes me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      Fantastic! I bet you loved this post ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Britany September 24, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Haha, I am SO bad at this too! I bartend near TImes Square and I’m often serving tourists. I frequently catch myself imitating them while we converse. I do love the word heaps though — might have to start using that one!

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      Haha, glad I’m not the only one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies September 24, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    First time commenting – but had to throw it out there with the GA reference.
    I learned to talk as a toddler in GA, but then moved to the other side of the states when I was 4 and “un-southernized” my speaking. But to this day, if I’m around southerners, my accent starts to come back without me being able to control it. So weird!
    And for the record, “heaps” doesn’t bother me a bit!

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      I can imagine that – even just being around my mom for an hour and I feel that slight midwestern accent take full flight. So easy to slip back into!

  4. Stacey September 24, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Haha the aussies say heaps all the time, and I often hear them saying something is “heaps” good as well! I’m getting told off all the time now since after living in the states for so long I say Ketchup, Trash, To-may-toh and Trunk! I don’t pick up accents (it takes a lot to shift a kiwi accent!) but I definitely pick up different words and slang when people are saying them around me all the time so you’re not alone there!

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

      Oh trunk is a good one! I cannot for the life of me call it a boot. Give me another year or two though ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Tim Van Autreve September 24, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    I didn’t even notice. Maybe I’m Australian?

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      Maybe! That would explain so mu… ok it wouldn’t explain anything ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t even do it that much to be honest. Maybe the person had just happened upon a couple posts that did before commenting.

  6. Jeff @ GoTravelzing September 24, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Maybe you could switch to “Loads.” I heard this a lot on a recent trip to Ireland. It seems like they are interchangeable.

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Hmm give me an example… I might already say there are “loads of great options”. Americans might say that, but now I can’t even remember ha

      • Jeff @ GoTravelzing September 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

        I would say “lots of or bunch of great options.” Heaps or Loads is more interesting but people might not know what I was talking about.

  7. Lauren September 24, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Right there with you. ‘Heaps’ is now a permanent part of my vocabulary, and although no one’s called me out on it yet, I can see the flicker in their eyes when I say it. Trying to get my Aussie fiance to pick up some of my words/pronunciation (a-LOO-min-um, dammit) but it seems that even his subconscious is too stubborn.

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Aluminum! Yeah that’s so annoying.. and then they come back and hit you with that “logic” about how aluminum is a brand name and aluminium is the element. Psh

  8. Kaylin September 24, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    I’m from the South so I love when people pick up y’all! haha (it’s an awesome word, seriously)

    But yeah, I do this too! My accent doesn’t change too much (even after a year of living in Korea, surrounded by Koreans or other English speakers with various accents, none of which were southern… everyone could still instantly pick me out as a southerner) but my vocab totally does.

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      Oh wow that would so interesting to hear someone with a strong southern accent say British and Australian words ๐Ÿ™‚ Did you find sometimes, as an english teacher, that you started to talk english back to them in their broken English accent? I did that in Ukraine.

      • Kaylin September 25, 2012 at 11:18 am #

        Hahaha its so funny you say that. Everyone I know who taught in Korea says the that our students English isnt getting better, ours is getting worse lol.We would notice ourselves saying bad english our kids or korean coteachers spoke to us like “take a rest”.

        I actually accidentally said pedophile the british way once in front of my friends at home (I had been watching law and order uk ep about it lol) and they made fun of me for aaaaages for it. Also the guy at immigration in london today asked me if i was teaching american or english by asking me do you say to-may-to or to-mah-to? ^-^

  9. Katy September 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I go totally the other way! I’m a Brit currently in the US and while at home I’d say, “Excuse me”, or “Can I just…” etc, here I’m all “I’m terribly sorry to bother you, my good sir. Would you mind awfully if I…?” Don’t even get me started on trying to order a cup of tea…

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      Bahaha hilarious Katy!

    • Marc September 26, 2012 at 1:04 am #

      I hope you mean how when you ask for tea they give you iced tea, and when you ask for hot tea they give you earl grey! I’m Canadian, and the worst part of going to the US for the me is that I can never get any orange pekoe tea at restaurants.

      • Brooke September 26, 2012 at 1:17 am #

        You enjoy that iced tea! I miss it so so so so much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Sam September 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    I definitely know where you are coming from here. I definitely picked up some british phrases and vocabulary while there that I still use sometimes now that I’m gone and I definitely get some funny looks now and then!

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

      Did you ever see on Friends where there was that girl that lived in English for a couple years and came back with a British accent and they all hated it (or maybe it was Phoebe that hated it)? It’s what this situation reminds me of.

  11. Kate - Canuckiwikate September 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I can completely understand where you’re coming from as a Canadian that’s been living in NZ for the past almost 4 years. Being immersed in the culture during uni, my intonation was the first thing everyone noticed changed. As a teacher of 6 year olds, I’ve had yo adapt my vocabulary, otherwise the poor kids just font know what I’m on about. Sometimes I try to translate back, and sometimes I forget how!

    I also use ‘heaps’ heaps haha ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      Oh I know about the forgetting part! People sometimes ask me how they would say something in America and I’m like… pause… pause… uhm… can’t remember now!

  12. Edna September 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    My fiance’s English so my vocabulary has definitely changed (lots of cheers, brilliant, sorted, etc have made their way into my subconscious — and you’re right, they sound so much better than the American version!) and my friends even say it’s seeped into my writing. And his friends also say he sounds more American. But we will always, always disagree on aluminum.

    And I may be from the north, but I still like saying y’all!

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      Score on the fiancรฉ sounding American ๐Ÿ™‚ My greatest victory was when one someone we met asked my bf if he was American because he had a “bit of a twang”! I didn’t get it, but I still savored the moment.

  13. Amanda September 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Haha, it doesn’t bother me at all if you use “heaps” heaps of times in a post, Brooke!

    I’m like you, though – I pick up on things like that really quickly, too! Like, after traveling all summer with tons of Aussies, I’m still saying “uni” instead of “college.”

    • Brooke September 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

      Uni, yes! I had to force myself to write college in this post. Crazy, huh?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Kyle September 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I love Australian slang because they truly have their own word for everything. I’m kinda sad that I’ve stopped using most of it after living in Sydney and returning to New York. I loved using “Macas” for McDonald’s and calling girls “baddies” hahaha. Also, was it just me or do Australians really overuse the “xoxoxo” at the end of texts? Many girls who I had just met did this and I had to check my ego after it kept happening…

    • Brooke September 25, 2012 at 4:49 am #

      A word for everythingโ€ฆ yes they do have that! I havenโ€™t actually heard the term โ€œbaddiesโ€ though โ€” maybe thatโ€™s regional? Donโ€™t girls everywhere do the xoxoxo? I mean, like I knowโ€ฆ like I mentioned above, Iโ€™m forgetting what really happens back in the States these days.

  15. Emma September 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    As a Kiwi, I didn’t even notice you used it heaps! Oh I wasn’t even trying to do that… *sigh*

    Love your blog by the way ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Laryssa September 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Hahaha! This post is so awesome.

    Before I went to Australia, I met this woman who had a slight Aussie accent. But it was off, somehow – inconsistant. It turned out she’d lived there for a year, like, ten years ago or something, and she just “never lost it”. (Bull crap to me, she was doing it for the attention.)

    However, when I went to Australia, I hung out only with Australians – no Americans whatsoever? And I picked up the rhythm of speaking? You know, no statements, all questions, even if you’re stating a fact?

    It was SO HARD to shake while I was there. It just felt right.
    But then immediately upon returning home I was back to my American roots. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I still say “What a rookie!” sometimes because it’s so funny. Or the ole “Sunday sesh”.

    • Brooke September 25, 2012 at 4:52 am #

      Hahaha yes, the question tone – so good! And Sunday sesh is soooooo Aussie. I remember one time I abbreviated session to sesh to my American friends and I was immediately outcasted!

  17. Amanda @ Farsickness September 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    I am the WORST at this. Honestly. The really bad part is that I spend most of my time with English language learners/surrounded by Konglish, so now I don’t even sound like I’m adopting other English words, I sound like I have a horrible grasp on the language ๐Ÿ™‚

    And then I’ve started watching Masterchef Australia/X Factor UK, so now I’m apparently adopting another pattern of speech. From watching too much TV. Ugh…

    Though…I will NEVER say capsicum ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Brooke September 25, 2012 at 4:55 am #

      AHahhaha I totally know how this goes. When I taught English to Ukrainians, I started to speak back to them, like them!

      And capsicum kills me but I have finally succumbed. Pooey

  18. Red Nomad OZ September 27, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Hahaha! Didn’t realise you lived in OZ until I read the post!! I thought that was a local thing … I think it’s our duty to use colloquialisms in blog posts as a way of educating overseas readers – as we are being educated by them!!

  19. Julie - the fairy trails September 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Ha! I am the worst for this! I also subconsciously imitate other people’s laughs… I don’t remember what my natural laugh sounds like anymore.

    I once dated a guy that said “Killer” in place of awesome or cool. It wasn’t until I won a radio contest and heard myself say it out loud on the radio that I realized I sounded like a complete loser…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Brooke September 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      Ohhh, yes, laughs are another one! They are really easy to subconsciously imitate. Such a weird thing that we do, eh?

  20. Our Dear Lady Expatriate September 29, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Aussie slang is just too good not to bring into everyday use! Why say afternoon when you could just say arvo? Heaps is heavily a great one – no reason that people should be grumbling about that!
    Confession, though: I always type the word ‘reckon’ – which is what I would say – and write ‘think’ or something like that. Reckon just doesn’t look very nice on paper/screen, but you can kind of soften it when you say it.
    To sum up: bring on the blends!

    • Brooke October 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Haha yeah reckon is one that definitely doesn’t look as good typed. I associate the word with hillbillies in the US, but in Oz, it’s just normal wordage.

  21. Christine September 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    I took a lot of flak when I came home from France (working with all English people) and from Australia–all my friends commented on how my inflection had changed, and whenever I said “heaps” or “keen” they jokingly asked if I was just doing it so that people would ask where I studied abroad. I think my accent is always going to be a bit of a mish-mash–especially when I have so many international friends, but at its heart, it’s Californian to the core! So pretty much–I don’t mind if you use heaps all the time!

  22. bethany October 12, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Heaps is a great word, very underutilized! I’m going to eat heaps of Chinese food tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Katina November 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Ahahaha I love that you wrote a blog around the word heaps! “Heaps good” is particularly a South Australian saying (Google ‘heaps good’ for proof) – we have state pride t-shirts with the saying on them (see here: http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2008/12/25/va1237347539244/tshirts-6414657.gif). I’ve ALWAYS wanted one but never got around to making the purchase… I might do that when I’m home next, thanks for the spur!

  24. BackcountryKatlin December 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Oz taught me that there are three great words the US is missing; heaps, no worries, and keen. And I say uni instead of college all the time. Haha. So keep up the Aussie slang because I love it! (And one day I’ll live there again, this time longer than just a uni exchange program.)

    • Brooke December 2, 2012 at 12:57 am #

      Ha, funny you mention this now, Katlin! I’m hanging with some friends in the States at the moment, and I keep dropping in Aussie slang and referring to the temperature in Celsius! I said “rego” for the car registration and all this weird stuff. I’m so changed ๐Ÿ˜‰ Where did you live in Australia?

      • BackcountryKatlin December 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

        Oh how I miss Australia! I lived in Lismore, NSW. Great little town! Perfectly located for spending the arvo at Byron Bay, the Gold Coast, or up in Brizzie.

        • Brooke December 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

          Yeah I know Lismore. Never been but have driven past the road sign ๐Ÿ˜‰ When do you think you’re going to get back to Australia?

  25. Jase January 21, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    I totally understand this! I moved to New Zealand when I was 19 because I got myself a Kiwi man. Everyone that I met for the next 6 years thought I was FOB but when I went back to the States everyone just asked me why I talked so strange ๐Ÿ™ Oh well, good on ya anyway mate!

  26. Kristin of Be My Travel Muse February 19, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Mate, sorry to say you also said ‘sorted’, which falls into the same bucket. Not to worry, I find myself saying everything is “lovely” now and I say food is “nice” instead of “good.” Tiny nuances that I know will sound odd to my Los Angeleno friends when I visit home!

  27. Nicole @ Suitcase Stories March 18, 2013 at 12:45 am #

    I am an Aussie and I use the word heaps a lot too! Its just an Aussie thing to do ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks heaps for this post ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Sam @ Travellingking.com June 27, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Don’t worry! Heaps is an Aussie words, means you are fitting in well ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. DayDay December 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    I used HEAPS heaps too. I say this word almost everyday. I’m studying in Perth, WA. Originally, I am not Aussie but I use this word a lot and my mates do as well. It doesn’t sound weird to me tho.

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