Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Accents and Impersonations

Every day at the main UT library, someone talks into the loudspeaker and says something like this:  "Attention, library users:  Thefts in the library can happen at any time.  Please do not leave your belongings unattended for even a moment." Usually a man says it, and it's hilarious because his voice sounds  like a really slow- and low-talking Fez.  I wish everyone could hear it as often as I get to.

This brings me to impersonations.  Every time that voice booms loudly through the cold, white halls of the library basement where I work, I want to repeat it exactly as it sounds.  I get the deep urge to imitate the slight lisp and masculine tones out loud.  I never do, though.  Sometimes I lip-sync to it or whisper it under my breath, but I catch myself before it's an embarrassment.

Here's the thing:  I love to impersonate accents and interesting ways of talking.  I have a friend from New Zealand who has an incredible accent, and lately, I've been repeating words in my mind in his voice.  For example, sometimes when I think of my name, I say, "Sirah Sno."  Or I might say, "whativvah" for "whatever."  It really needs to stop soon, or he'll think I'm making fun of him, as the English girl in my sister's college ceramics class thought.  Really, though, it's a compliment!  I wish my voice sounded more interesting!  I would say words like "fo-word" for "forward," as my friend Aubrey does.  Or I would say "COMf-turble" for "comfortable," as Lauren does.  I might want to enunciate everything perfectly, like Brittini, or say my S's like a snake, the way Carrie von Bose does.

I just like to watch the way people make sounds with their lips and teeth and throat.  It fascinates me to no end that some people mostly just move their jaw when they talk, and yet some people use every part of their lips.  I find myself being mesmerized by things such as this on a regular basis.

Here's another thing:  The people I impersonate don't know whether to be offended or pleased, and the people I don't impersonate often want to know why I don't impersonate them.  What can I say?  Some people are easier to impersonate than others, but rest assured, I pay attention to nearly everyone.  (Even you, person-I-don't-mimic.)

Just for fun, here are some famous people (and movie scenes/interviews) I pay attention to because of the way they talk, not the way they look:

Thing I'm thankful for: warm cookies


Blogger Aubrey said...

My foot hurts can I go to the nurse?
And also, is fo-word wrong? Everyone says I saw wolf wrong too but I can't hear it.
I was in speech in elementary school.

8:50 AM  
Blogger cardlady said...

I think you secretly wanted to be a speech therapist. But, you went into editing instead, or usability studies. hahahahahha Love you SAWA!

2:24 PM  
Blogger Lyndel said...

i watched every single video clip you included in your blog and may or may not have gotten sucked into watching all of My Girl on youtube :) Thanks for the great afternoon Sara Snow!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Haha -- as soon as I read "COMF-turble," I knew it was me you were referring to. What can I say? Definitely Southern.

Also, I hesitated to name Finn "Finn" because I say it more like "Fenn." Can't help it. My tongue just can't pronounce "Finn."

9:46 AM  
Blogger Amanda Leigh said...

So Sirah Sno, I just finally had a chance to catch up on your blog and I have two things to tell you: One, you are one of the coolest people I know. You have such a wonderous perspective, and I love your blog and just love you a whooole lot. And two, I watch "A Series of Unfortunate Events" simply to listen to Jude Law's voice and accent. I'm loving your list of clips at the end of this post.

8:48 PM  

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