A good friend of mine recently shared a picture on Facebook and a little admission about struggling to develop proper speech and pronunciation growing up. And while I’m not sure where the quote is from, and I can’t tell the same story Emma did, I can tell you I empathize and understand.
Growing up, I read voraciously. I still do, or at least I try. When you become an official adult, reading outside of work obligations is slightly difficult, especially when you juggle 10+ social media accounts, are trying to write your own novel and know you need at least an hour in the gym to sweat off that donut from this morning. But how reading plays into my own little confession here, is that the more I read, the easier it is for me to ensure my speech doesn’t slip.
Younger, my speech was fine, fast, but fine. In the last five years alone, it has slipped and slurred on various consonants and word endings, resulting in what many call a charming British or Australian accent. And yet the truth is, my adorable accent isn’t real. It’s a direct consequence of losing my hearing, just as my disruptive speech is.
I can’t help it. My speech stems from how my ears hear sounds and my brain interprets them. The communication between the auditory and neural pathways is no longer seamless, and my speech is discordant because of that.
But just because I mess up sometimes, just because my hearing loss plays Twister with my mouth, doesn’t mean I have lost intelligence as I have lost the ability to correctly enunciate word. I am still smart. I am still a reader. I am still a writer. I am still me.
So now, I want to share the picture Emma bravely posted today, and I want to leave you with this thought: A mispronounced word should not play in your judgement of an individual just as a cover should not be used to judge a book. It is the content of the words themselves and the content of a being’s personality that should be weighted factors.