I was chatting with a friend this morning about a pair of speakers she heard…
How different should one pronounce ‘where’ and ‘wear’? Is there a difference between ‘bear’ and ‘bare’? It seems like these questions should have one answer, but they don’t.
There is no one, true American English diction. Variance in pronunciation is ubiquitous and really interesting, but still, we keep seeking the one, unified way.
But, what if we stopped? What if we accepted that how we hear different ways of speaking is just a matter of taste? And if we accept this, how does that change the way in which we choose to respect others?
Language is communication and community. It is how we create understanding. It can also be how we expand ourselves outward. How we make room for that which we do not know.
I think that if we can stretch our capacity for variance in language, we will see the world through a wider lens. I think it will help us see that some of the differences we perceive between us and other people aren’t really there.
What if next time you noticed a difference in how someone speaks English, you accepted it as perfect?
Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.