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)!
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.
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.