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I went into the office today for the second time since the lockdown. It was a little like the Mary Celeste. There was a sweater thrown over the back of an office chair, my coffee cup was on the table, the meeting room was set up for a meeting. The plants overgrowing everything out front didn’t help.

I had over 2,500 emails in my main inbox and another 1,800 in messages sent through the website. I’m tempted not to try and sort through them (they’ve been forwarded to me at home all along) but to throw them all in a folder labelled The Plague.

No, that’s not really my inbox in the picture. It’s a screenshot of Outlook that I pinched off the internet. Stop trying to read the email addresses.

Oh, and and I had upwards of fifty voicemail messages, mostly asking if we’re open. And a handwritten note from my boss (who was in earlier today) asking me to re-record the answering machine message to tell people we’re closed.

I hate that. I did it. But when I’m a little nervous, the cornpone sneaks back into my accent. It was particularly noticeable when I directed people to our website. You know, the dubya-dubya-dubya part.

Still, it felt kinda good to be back. Which is nice, as I have to start going in again.


Comment from RimrockR
Time: September 17, 2020, 9:22 pm

My former DelMarVa accent is largely gone….except when I am angry and start ranting. Funny how that works!

Comment from Carl
Time: September 17, 2020, 9:40 pm

It’s a pleasant, friendly voice on the answering machine but, if you really wanted it to sound like a Southern English accent, ‘castle’, ‘currently’ and ‘latest’ might need a little bit of work. I’m sure Uncle B could advise.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 17, 2020, 9:41 pm

Some years ago, I had a man whom I had never met peg the location where I grew up within about 25 miles because of my accent. I was fascinated by this because I was 1500 miles from my hometown, (Erie Pennsylvania) and hadn’t lived there in 30 years. What made it even more amazing to me is the fact that nobody where I grew up had any kind of accent- we all spoke plain normal English! 😉

Comment from Jeff Weimer
Time: September 17, 2020, 9:55 pm

Where you are, I’m sure the cornpone accent is considered charming.

Comment from Jeff Weimer
Time: September 17, 2020, 10:01 pm

Some Vegetable: Decades ago now, a friend of mine picked out a fellow American (but still a stranger) as being from North Massapequa(sp?), Long Island, NY. My friend was from upstate NY.

I’m from Seattle. I could never be able to narrow an accent down to a 20-mile area. I have been told by reliable Canadians that I don’t have much of one. Eh.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: September 17, 2020, 11:16 pm

My accent confuses everybody. As my nic says, I am an armybrat. I moved 20 times with my parents and 10 with my husband. My parents were from Pittsburgh. I’ve lived in 10 states and 1 foreign country (several times!). My accent is about as American as it gets because it’s from all over America!

Comment from Teej
Time: September 18, 2020, 1:56 am

Where I’m from, people used to say “CinnninatUH” and “ChicaGUH”, tho I don’t. I blame television.
I find regional accents charming. Wonder if they’ll all melt together and disappear…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 18, 2020, 9:17 am

Sadly, Teej, that’s exactly what’s happening here in the UK. It began (they say) with the advent of radio then accelerated after WWII when TV became ubiquitous.

There actually is a local accent where we live, but only the old farmers and a few fishermen still have it. The rest have adopted a sort of general modern London(ish) accent but even that has changed in my lifetime.

The worst strain it is heard in kids who had adopted a South London wannabe black gangsta influence, which sounds even more ridiculous coming from a pimply faced 15 year old.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: September 18, 2020, 12:57 pm

I think they should teach the kids the accent of that Scots guard at St James Palace who chased off the guy doing the dance.


Haw, get yersel’ away, ye came and ye done this yesterday anaw, do him wan, turn the camera aff.’

I grew up “lace curtain Irish” on the North Shore of Boston. Went to college out near Fort Devens. Locals would assume I was in the Army stationed at Devens because I used the R’s in my words (or didn’t) where they belonged.

Car instead of Cah, beer instead of Beeah.
Pizza instead of Peatzer, Idea instead of Ideer.
(Those R’s that get left out of words are mentally stored and have to be used you know).

And we were taught not to cuss every other word in a sentence, which for some reason people seem to find amusing or charming. Mrs D and I are always astonished when we hear “common” people from the Boston (inside Rt 128) region portrayed in movies or even actual recordings because they cuss far more than we ever did, or ever remember anyone else doing, except for people you didn’t associate with.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: September 18, 2020, 1:52 pm

@Armybrat — Looks like we have near identical “accents” although mine is partly from being a Navybrat. Maryland, Florida, Connecticut, So. California, Virginia, Buenos Aires, Virginia again…and that’s before high school!

Comment from Armybrat
Time: September 19, 2020, 1:27 am

@Uncle Al…all the more reason we must meet over over a beer!

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