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My husband and I were born in the Northeastern United States. We spent a third of our lives there before our families migrated South. So, we've spent most of our lives living in the Carolinas. Although I know my speech pattern has slowed down a bit and I will on occasion say "y'all," I don't have much of an accent - neither Southern nor Northern.

My son, however, is another story. He attends school where most of the children and the teachers have a Southern accent. At home, he speaks mostly in a way that reflects the way my husband and I speak, but when he is frustrated or excited, we hear a twang come out.


It may or may not last, but it is intriguing to hear him change his vocal patterns to his audience.

And he's not the only one. Evidently, we all have a special voice we use while talking to our digital assistants. A "telephone voice" an "accent-free voice" or a "polite voice" - call it whatever you want - there is definitely a different tone and inflection we use when asking Siri for something that we never use with our family and friends. People have learned very quickly that regional accents, slang and colloquialisms tend to confound our devices, and we have been quick to adopt a flat, polite tone when we want something from them.

It is this ability of ours to adapt our speech to our situation that reassures me that my son's accent doesn't matter. He may always become a vocal chameleon to fit in at home or with his friends, but I am more interested in what he is saying that how he sounds when he is saying it.

Do you have an accent that you've ever tried to tone down? Tell me in the comments.

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