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General Discussion

Patrick Cooney
Patrick Cooney
12,216 Points

I read blog posts in the voice of the author...

if I've watched a video of theirs and know what they sound like. Does this happen to anyone else?

5 Answers

I've never had that happen. I think it'd be pretty sweet though :D, kind of jealous.

Michael O'Malley
Michael O'Malley
4,293 Points

I'm the same way. I absorb their mannerisms and accents, but on an extreme scale. Like a characture artist I over dramatize their reflections, pauses, and their pronunciation of certain words.

I do this on a more subtle scale when talking to someone with a thick accent or interesting quality to their voice. I don't mean to, it just happens.

I think the first time I became self-aware of it was when I was a child, we took a trip down south. I remember sitting at the table and ordering some sweet tea, only to have my sisters swift foot kick me from under the table. Apparently I had been mimicking the waitresses accent the whole time.

I do that too Michael! It's second nature, I do it without thinking and have had to make myself more aware. It sure comes in handy when you have to move to a new region though.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

It's human nature to mimic the accents of places which aren't our homes. Self-preservation reflex. Back in the time of caves and clubs, accents would be like territory markers, a person would defend their territory against someone with a different accent as they were foreign and likely a threat.

I'm sure there's some personality psychology behind why you do it. Probably because sub-consciously, you don't feel safe and feel threatened, going back to our primal instincts.

Look it up, it's quite interesting for 30 minutes of reading.

Michael O'Malley
Michael O'Malley
4,293 Points

It seems the modern reasoning to why people mimic accents is to appeal, empathize, and affiliate with the person they're speaking to. Just like matching someones rate of speech; if you go to fast, you'll lose them and if you go to slow, you'll bore them. Even some neuroscience claim that imitating someones accent internally allows you to better understand the speaker. Especially when the persons way of speech is rugged or unfamiliar.

This habit goes beyond just speech. We imitate posture, facial and hand gestures. It's even a business strategy to help bolster networking and negotiating with others. I didn't quite have 30 minutes, but it definitely was interesting and now I have a better physiological grasp of why I do it.

Patrick Cooney
Patrick Cooney
12,216 Points

I don't quite absorb mannerisms but I always hear people's voices when I'm reading something by them if I know what they sound like.