April 1st, 2008

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Family Accent

So last night my sister Carolyn called me and it through me for a loop.

First off, my siblings and I just don't talk on the phone, except possibly once a year under odd or emergency circumstances. So when one calls, I wonder what's wrong or what weird question I'm going to get. This was no exception, as Carolyn was calling to ask if I'd been in touch with her college-age daughter Ashley. I told her she's on my Facebook and then she wanted me to ping her and see if she's OK. (Which I did and she must be OK, she's got events in her feed.)

Anyway, second off, I was thrown for a loop because when I heard the voice on the phone, I thought for a second it was me. We have such similar voices. She was like "You know this is your weird sister" and I was like, "Um, yeah, and I know which one, too!" But we do all sound so alike. Caleb says we're practically indistinguishable on the phone. Personally I think Nancy's got a higher, more nasal voice but we really do sound alike -- deep guy-ish voice, loud, resonant. (My brother also sounds like us, albeit admittedly with a deeper voice, as he's 6'6".) When I'm at my parents and one of them calls, often they think I'm either Mom or one of my other sisters. They'll start talking and I'll be like "Hold on, this isn't Nancy!" Ha!

What's weird is I think we all even have similar accents, even though we didn't grow up in the same place. My thought is that we all got an accent overlay from mom and dad (Bronx accents) and then my own accent was reinforced by listening to my siblings. I know I got a lot of how I talk (including the swearing) from my sister Betty, who moved back home when I was in middle school and corrupted me in all sorts of ways. I know Mom was always on Betty for teaching me bad language, including "screw" and "suck," both of which Mom considers vulgar.
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Writer's Block: If at first you don't succeed...

What have you tried in life that you just weren't very good at?

Being a journalist. At least when you're talking newspaper, it involves way too many phone calls and fact-checking. Writing magazine articles is a bit easier. Writing opinion pieces was a blast, but then, that's not exactly journalism. In the end it was better for me to go into something else and put my writing talents to use in other ways.

Another thing I tried and failed at? Dating. He he.