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Part VI. Idioms, Slang and Other Mutants > Chapter 33. A Word about Accents - Pg. 89

89 Chapter 33. A Word about Accents Do not worry about accents. They are interesting and most people listen better to speakers with accents. However, if your accent is very strong, consider an accent-reduction class. If you cannot be understood when you speak, then Standard English will not matter anyway. Sometimes self-consciousness about accents causes people to speak softly; so the listener must contend with both volume and accent. Try to speak loudly enough to be heard without straining. Speak at a moderate rate of speed, with energy in your voice. When you do not understand someone because of an accent, stop him or her and ask politely if they will please repeat what they said. It is better that either of you be a bit embarrassed, than for you to misunderstand his or her meaning. And yes, if you still do not understand after a second attempt, ask a third time, even more politely. Now that you have become familiar with Standard English, let's look at the outlaw elements of our language that are not so predictable. Idioms, jargon and slang add interest and complexity to Eng- lish. These words and phrases make our language unique.