Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Accent Improvement App

Talk like a yokel? There's an app for that.
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

Many regional English accents can be described as rather charming, melodic even. An Australian acquaintance of mine once told me he didn't at first understand quite why he seemed to attract so much attention from the opposite sex when he moved to the States—until the time one night an Irishman walked into the bar and he was suddenly yesterday's news. Reggae and Calypso simply wouldn't be the same without the wealth of accents found in the Caribbean. Heck, ma'am, even a slow Suthun drawl has its own graceful sort a' charm to it.

Some accents, on the other hand, can simply be described as auditory abuse to listen to. However, while making the acquaintance of my new girlfriend Siri recently (why yes I did wait in line on launch day for an iPhone 4S why do you ask), it occurred to me that if technology has progressed to the point where it can understand pretty much anything I say, it should also be able to distinguish features of various awful accents, or at least the most glaring examples. New Yorkers, Bostonians, Glaswegians—take heart! There is hope for you yet.

The idea then is to have a smartphone app that constantly monitors your speech, and when it detects a particularly grating word or phrase, it buzzes you as a gentle reminder that you've taken a right turn straight into Podunk. For example:

"I really oughtta warsh my cah." *BZZT*

"Her name is Fioner." *BZZT*

(Stream of unintelligible gibberish containing the words "kilt", "haggis", or any reference to alcohol) *BZZT*

Eventually, with enough such corrective actions, the speaker will learn to habitually avoid using these speech patterns of their own accord, much to the relief of those forced to listen to them.

(Note that this is not intended for native speakers of non-English languages—except native Francophones, for which the Electrified Testicular Clamp add-on is required.)

ytk, Oct 21 2011

<with midwestern twang> Similar to this? Foreign_20Language_20Accent_20Acquisition
[swimswim, Oct 21 2011]

West Midlands accent http://www.youtube....watch?v=oYYo49R_ZS0
unpopular in England, but apparently goes down well in U.S. (the accent, not the humour, necessarily) [pertinax, Oct 21 2011]

Same joke, Glasgow accent - you decide. http://www.youtube....zpY&feature=related
[pertinax, Oct 21 2011]

The Accent coach... http://www.youtube....watch?v=hHQrXOYil5w
[xandram, Oct 21 2011]

yet another use for the..... I_20said_20that_20y..._2fjaw_20attachment
[not_morrison_rm, Oct 23 2011]

West Midlands / West Indies hybrid, different jokes http://www.youtube....=PL89104CDDB3780EAF
[pertinax, Oct 25 2011]


       [+] I like it, but it's sort of discriminating. Some of those *talkers* don't think there is anything wrong with the way they speak. I moved from Connecticut to the Boston area years ago and besides noticing the differently pronouced words with the same vowels, also heard my own *accent*. I have rounded out my English to come somewhere in between the outright wrong pronuncation, to the actual *correct* (if there is one) pronuncation.   

       (I remember when my (ex)husband said to "go mail the lettuce"- He was a Bostonian!)
xandram, Oct 21 2011

       Expanding on what [xandram] said, I remember a report a few years ago to the effect that, in England, the most unpopular, lowest-status accent was that of the West Midlands - but that Americans actually preferred that accent to other English accents.   

       I'm just trying to picture that research being done. "Hi. Would you like to take part in some research where you listen to several different British accents, and then say which you prefer?" "Why, sure."   

       Maybe it was done in the same bar that [ytk]'s Australian friend went to.
pertinax, Oct 21 2011

       Not certain what that added clamp is going to attach to.
RayfordSteele, Oct 21 2011

       The West Midland's accent has a long and noble tradition, originating from the merging and amalgamation of several other regional accents, and with subtle shadings introduced by immigrant populations over the centuries.   

       It's an accent shaped by the industrial revolution in the power-house of England. It's been hammered and polished by generations of craftsmen and artisans, turned by traditional potters, and fired by the coal hard-won by men of sinew and endurance.   

       The sooner it is exterminated the better.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 21 2011

       //add an 'R' to the end of just about every word//
That's also the "Beijing accent" in Mandarin. People add "er" to the end of a lot of words, especially those that otherwise end in "en". Men (door) becomes Mer. Ren (people) becomes Rer. Beijingers are proud of it, but others think it sounds horrible.
swimswim, Oct 21 2011

       -1 this is like trying to interpret birdsong...
po, Oct 21 2011

       There's an app for that.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 21 2011

       und zo another use for the "I Said That Years Ago (TM)" clamp is discovered. Ignore link.
not_morrison_rm, Oct 23 2011


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