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Language Autobiography By: Morgan Taylor

Introduction and Reflection:


     The purpose of this project was to write a language autobiography. In class we have been reading and learning about different languages and how they were used or how they are made fun of. Throughout this unit I found it very interesting the way that certain people act or speak in a certain environment. It was hard for me to write a language autobiography because I don’t see myself as having a unique accent or way of dialect. When I speak I think I am speaking normally, almost everybody thinks they speak normally. Finding the topic was one of the hardest things I had to do while writing this paper. After I found my topic, the rest was easy from there. I hope you enjoy what I worked so hard on.




     All my life my dad has always said to me, “You need to be like a Chameleon, look at your environment and make yourself match and fit into it.” Why is it that people are taught to act, speak or be something they are not? In this world people try to “fit in” they talk or act a certain way in order to fee accepted and wanted. No matter where you go Russia, France, Canada, The U.S., Africa or even 15 blocks from where you live people are going to talk and act differently. Everywhere there is a norm and for certain places that norm may be different. In General People are different. In life I have ran into many people and they all act and talk differently. People hang out in groups of people that they feel comfortable with, that talk or act similar to themselves. I wonder why the world can’t just accept that all people a different and unique? Why can’t we all socialize, get along and not judge each other?

     I was about 8 years old, and I had just put my stuff in my cubby at after care. Immediately I decided I wanted to play ball with my friends. We were having a great time laughing and bouncing the ball to each other, that is when my best friend Danielle said “MORGAN HEADS UP!” I turned around, saw the ball coming at my face and ducked. All of a sudden I heard “OW! Who did that!” We accidentally hit a boy name Zane in the back of the head. Zane was white and probably a little bit racist. He turned around and saw that I was standing there relieved that it didn’t hit me. I think he thought that I through the ball, then he screamed a cruel sentence at me “Watch whatcha doing, you stupid nigger!” I had never had anybody call me such a harsh word before. I ran to my teacher and said to her “DESI DESI! ZANE CALLED ME THE BIG N-WORD!” He ran up to he and tried to play it off by saying he said nigga instead of nigger, he said that he was using slang or using black people talk. Since the after care was made up of predominately black people, he thought he was able to get away with it. Obviously he said it intentionally and to make me feel bad. Nobody bought his plead and he got suspended for a week.

People are always trying to fit in to a certain group, if you don’t talk a certain way in a certain area you are “made fun of” or judged. when my 10th grade class was watching a video called American Tongues the director decided to take video of what certain people thought of other peoples accents or way of speaking. All the people in the video had strong accents (in my opinion), it was funny how they were making fun of how other people sound when they sound just as funny. These people were judging folk that they didn’t even know, they were judging them based on how they sound. American Tongues said “Barriers are the difference between Park Your Car and Pak Ya Ca.” People learn how speak to according to how they were taught or how they enunciate their words. As said in the video American Tongues “Everyone thinks everyone has an accent.” This is saying that no matter where you go everyone has a different unique way of speaking.
    When you are in an working environment people talk in their “professional voices”. When you do not talk in that specific voice your ideas are put down and you are looked at as if you were nothing but an accent. As said in American Tongues, ”They don’t listen to ideas they listen to dialect and accents.” I was talking to my mother and I asked her what do you think when a person comes into an interview for a job at your Agency and they have face piercings and tattoos all over them. She immediately said

“It shows me that they won’t be able to reach certain levels of my expectations or the agencies. They will not be able to go as far in management position if they have those piercings and tattoos.”

“So mom it does not matter if they are super intelligent or if they have amazing million dollar ideas?”

“I would not hire them because they do not look the part they are supposed to look, it looks bad for my agency.”
    One day in middle school I got in trouble for getting in a confrontation with a girl that I did not like at all. Of course I did not hit her, I do not fight in school, that doesn’t mean I was not thinking of it. I was sent down to the office, to go to  the principles room and she said to me

“Morgan why would you do this, you were always such a good student.”

“ I know, I know Ms. Fitzpatrick, but I didn’t do anything. The teacher saw the entire thing, if the teacher was in the room right next to me you know I would not behave in such a manner.”

“I believe you Morgan, you are a fantastic student, one of our best.” “Thank you Ms. Fitzpatrick, I am sure you know I would never disrupt the class during such and important standardized test.”

“Of course not, especially when you are taking it yourself, you may go Morgan.”

“Thank you Ms. Fitzpatrick for sorting this whole thing out.” When I went back upstairs to class I realized that the person I got “ in trouble” with took video of my entire conversation with the principle and sent it to the entire 8th grade. I got made fun of for “being friends” with the principle. At my middle school all of my teachers used to say to my mom “Morgan has a higher level of maturity than the rest of the students, she know how to talk to adults and that is going to get her places.” When I got into almost every high school of my choice they all said “No wonder you got in, you probably rocked that interview you went to. You have a way with showing your intelligence. You have a great fun and serious side.”
    According to my dad if you know how to act like a chameleon you will make it far in life. Knowing how to mask yourself in a certain environment is very good because you will be taken seriously. Being taken seriously in this world is extremely important. To me, I somewhat agree. Fitting in is important because it will help you survive, survive in our society with work, friends and school. On the other hand being yourself is just as important.

"American Toungues." PBS: 07/05/1988. Television. <>.