You’ve likely noticed someone adopting an accent a little bit too quickly after visiting another place on Earth.
These happenings are common enough to be recognized as a pattern, but rare enough for us to not think too much about. All we know upon the realization that someone’s accent may be played up, is that we feel doubt and distrust. The person in question begins to feel like a poser, and someone who changes tunes based on which way the wind blows. Someone who embellishes an accent to a level which they don’t authentically speak with, lets us know of ulterior motives being at play. It lets us know that the person in question is attempting to present a false image of themselves, by which they hope to garner a favorable reaction from the ones who perceive that image at face value.
This article is about why people who embellish their accent are generally distrusted and disliked.
It is a quite specific domain of human interaction which we can derive lessons from and utilize those lessons in differing scenarios. It is a tale of fraudulent perception and cheap forms of influence. It is a tale of staying true to who you are.
An Element of Shaky Intention: Trying to Get on the Good Side of Those in Question
If you adopt a “British accent” after spending two weeks in London, UK, you’ll be operating with an element of shaky intention. Shaky intention, as it’s used in this article, means to operate with motives which seek to benefit you by fooling the ones around you. A successful adoption of a foreign accent would entice the people whose country you’re visiting to treat you like a resident of the place you visit. You would serve to fool the residents of the specific place you’re visiting into treat you like one of their own, speak to you like one of their own, and take care of you like one of their own.
Sadly though, the fraudulent adoption of any accent is seldom successful. It quickly becomes obvious that you’re faking / embellishing an accent. Since most people don’t consider a two weeks’ (or months’, or years’) worth of time enough to become ingrained in the culture you’re surrounded by, you’d be attempting to prevent them from knowing that fact. They’ll catch on, and are likely to treat you worse than if you were to simply be yourself. You’d be trying to fraudulently get on the good side of the people whose accent is in question.
This is not only obvious to those native to the country whose accent you’ve adopted for yourself, but also to the ones who know you well. A person who abandons their natural way of being to please those who they’ve only met for a short period of time is seen as unreliable and untrustworthy. The people who know you well will be taken back at the ease at which you aim to please those who you do not know. People may perceive you as weaselly and slimy, because they’ll have a strong feeling that you’re not being your authentic self. They won’t see you as a person they can open up to, as your act of embellishing an accent makes you seem closed off to authenticity.
Cheap Method for Showing Off
Some people will come back home from a short stint in another country, with a different accent than the one they left with. The message that sends to the people who knew you prior to leaving, is that you’re attempting to communicate the experience you’ve gained through travel by the accent that you embellish. You serve to differentiate yourself from the people who haven’t had the chance to travel. You aim to, not so subtly, communicate the act of you having an edge over those who’ve not had the same opportunities as you in life.
People who embellish an accent are akin to those who call themselves “computer coders” after reading the beginner guide to coding. They’re akin to people who call themselves philosophers after reading the most famous work of the most popular philosopher. People who embellish accents are akin to those who say they work out regularly, even if it’s only been a month of regular visits to the gym. The common trait of all these people is the element of trying to cheaply influence those around them. It is an obvious and fraudulent attempt to make people like them. Posers are only respected by the ignorant. All it takes is a little bit of digging, to figure out that those who pose as one thing, are in fact someone else. Try not to pose as someone who you aren’t.