Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

11 February 2013

The one with the Regional Dialect

You mean you didn't??

So a few weeks ago I was informed that I speak with a "regional dialect" that identifies me as being From Somewhere Else.

You're not One Of Us...

I sound Too Californian.

Which apparently is Not A Good Thing.

How is being from California not a good thing??  

No Habla.

And I was told I need to Tone It Down.

(The reason being that in my new job as a Professional Ninja I need to be somewhat incognito.  I'm supposed to blend.  Which, it turns out, I don't.  Huh.)

I'm the one in the middle.

I have to admit, I was flummoxed.

And completely distracted by the term "Regional Dialect."

What does that mean???

When I think I'm using words am I actually speaking in the clicks and winks that are indigenous to My People?  Am I the only one who doesn't know I'm not speaking English??

If I'm not speaking English, what the hell am I speaking???

I took my query to the streets.  (IE:  My husband and his family, all native New Yorkers.)

Me:  "So it turns out I have a "regional dialect."  What the hell does that mean??  Were you aware of this nonsense?"

Dan:  *choking on his own obnoxious laughter*  "And you weren't?"

Me:  "Okay, I get that I don't sound like you... mainly, because I'm from California and we don't do the whole talking through the nose thing, but regional dialect?  What the frick does that even mean?"

Dan:  "I dare you to try to have a conversation without saying, "I'm, like..." or "And he's, like..."  or "And we're all, like..."


Dan:  "Go ahead... try."


Okay, seriously... is that even, like, possible?  Because I'm pretty sure it isn't.

See?  It's in my DNA, yo.

Me:  "Dude, seriously... I spent 48 years of my life as a Californian.  I'm pretty sure it's called The Golden State because it's, like, the best state.  And how in the hell am I supposed to tone down something I'm not even aware I'm doing??"

I'm sorry... is this a problem?

Dan:  "I'll help you."

And so it began.

Me:  "Oh my God, I'm like..."

Dan:  *clicking remote control zapper on my electric shock collar*

Me:  "Dude!  For real!  Seriously!  They're all like..."

Dan:  *zap*

Me:  "What the hell everrrr..."

Dan:  *zap*

Okay, he didn't really have a zapper and I didn't really have a shock collar but as it turns out, nothing short of drastic measures is going to correct my speech.  Even when I think about it there are certain words and pronunciations that I just can't change.  (Without extensive speech therapy, at any rate.)

I found out the hard way that I don't think... I just talk.  (I'm not sure that counts as a "regional dialect", however... but apparently in New York, it's a Strictly California thing that makes me stick out like a sore thumb.  Who knew?)

This is not a good thing.

I vowed to never speak again.

I seriously had no idea that wasn't how everybody did it until I moved here.

Unfortunately, I forgot that I'd made myself that promise and The Stupidest Thing Ever Said By Anybody, Ever flew out of my mouth Saturday evening.

It went like this:

The whole Fam Damily loaded up to go see the Ice Castle in Saranac Lake, NY.  (Explain this to me, please... The town is called Saranac Lake, but the lake in the town is not Lake Saranac.  In fact, there IS no Lake Saranac.  The lake in Saranac Lake is actually Lake Flower.  And *I* sound like a dumbass??  Hello, New York?  This is kettle.  You're black.)

The ice castle was fabulous and the theme this year was Under The Sea.  There were ice carvings of dolphins, whales, sharks... King Neptune guarded the entrance and there was a real lobster frozen into a block of ice adorning the castle wall.

I have no idea why, but that damn lobster totally captivated me.  

I mean, it was a lobster frozen in a giant block of ice.

On the way home, the girls were asked what they liked best.

Niece 1:  "I liked the dolphin."

Niece 2:  "I liked the shark."

Aunt Dani:  "I liked the lobster.  Do you think it was in the ice when they pulled it out of the lake and they just left it there?"

*insert sound of dead silence*


Dan:  "Dani, there aren't any lobsters in the lake."

Me:  "Well, how do I know?  I don't know where you guys go lobster hunting here."




Me:  "Oh, wait..."

I'd be sooooo sparkly...

Anyway, after some deep thought I came to the conclusion that being told to "tone down" my "regional dialect" was my new supervisor's uber polite way of telling me to think before I speak.  

Now I'm wondering what incredibly stupid shit I said that inspired her to make that request...

Are you suggesting that I'm not??


  1. I thought everyone did the "I'm like"/"he's like"/"we're all like" thing. And "dude." I say that all the time, and I've never been anywhere near California. And I know quite a few people from Cali; I only ever noticed an accent with the two who are from LA. They seem unable to speak more than 3 syllables at a time without a lengthy pause, and every single sentence is stated like a question.

    Your supervisor is obviously not as cool as you.

  2. Mich- I'm so glad you mentioned 'Dude'. I'm an 80's kid, and 'like' and 'dude' creep into EVERY conversation I have EVER had.

  3. We talk about moving out of California every so often, to somewhere cheaper, because everywhere is cheaper than here. But then I start to think about things like this and wonder if we would SURVIVE outside of California. It's like other states are foreign countries. Foreign countries without readily available and cheap fresh produce in winter.

  4. Omg... This is like when Harry Potter was speaking parseltongue but didn't know he was speaking it. He just thought he was having regular conversations.

    You. Are. The. Chosen. One.



  5. I couldn't ever imagine being told to tone down my accent. Though I admit California speak is pretty funny- I was never really aware of it till I traveled. I'd be hanging out with Canadians and people from other states, and thought I sounded normal. Then I would run into a Californian which put my accent in gear. I remember thinking "dude, we sound ridiculous!"

  6. HAHAHAHA! I can relate. I've lived in New Zealand for five years, and people still call me Kath. As in, Kath and Kim. As in, dumb Australian.

    Also? We went on a gold rush field trip in Grade 4 as well! Apparently Central Victoria and California are pretty much the same place ;-)

  7. I, for one, am now wanting to know what your new job really is. Blend in? Don't sound different?

    "The name's Dani. Dani Lastname."

  8. I am SO stealing your glitter idea. Brilliance!

  9. Dude! Like, oh mah gawd, she like TOTALLY called you like stupid. Duuuuddddeeee.

  10. I'm with Mich and Nat, 'like' and 'dude' are totally used by everyone. Right?

    As for 'the' in front of freeway numbers, I will probably never be able to stop doing it. I feel like I'm missing something if I just say 101.

  11. I'm Southern and when we moved to SOUTH Dakota I thought they'd sound just like me, cuz ya know, South is part of their name....I might as well be speaking Ewok y'all...

  12. Aaaaaand now all I have filling my head is the Californians skit from SNL!

  13. Oh my god I just laughed til I cried. And I have always wanted the ability to create sparkles and bubbled on demand. I think they would liven up many conversations and meetings I have to endure.


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