A Curious Side Effect; Or, Audiobook-Induced Accent Acquisition

William Oliver

I’ve taken up audiobooks again. I left off listening to them a while ago, and even canceled my subscription to Audible, because I was getting behind. Few things annoy me more than wasting my money on things I don’t use. But then, a lack of podcast backlist, a pair of great audiobooks on a long road trip, and a new hobby have sent me back into the digital shelves of my library looking for new books to cram into my ears. This time around I’ve noticed a curious effect. I listened to Faithful Place, by Tana French, and am currently listening to Himself, by Jess Kidd—both narrated by Irish voices. After listening to hours of their accents, I’m terribly afraid that I’m going to start pronouncing things with an Irish accent and calling people gobshites. I could swear that I’ve listened to readers with accents before, but I’ve never heard my inner monologue put on a brogue. Ah feck.

Any other audiobook fans have this happen to them? If so, how do you make it stop before you start sounding like an eejit?

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