I got a message last week from a friend / listener from Canada and he first complemented Brian and I on a great show (thank you) and then said he loved to hear me speak when my Canadian accent comes out. Interesting point, but despite my love of all things 'Great White North', I'm not Canadian. So I thought now would be a good time to explain a little about 'The Language of the Matman' and explain where my voice comes from.
It all started when I was a little guy (about 5 years old) and I developed a stutter. This came from the fact (like many do) I try to speak before my brain catches up. I became so embarrassed about this I tried to fix it on my own; by listening to the radio and developing that fast, rapid fire DJ delivery.
Next I would memorize movie and TV dialogue to get my mouth and brain in synch, since it was someone else speaking. As the years went on I realized that I could do impersonations (still don't know how) and i could sing like the singers on the radio. When I sang 'Hey Deannie' I SANG it like Shawn Cassiday, not 'little Mattie'. This would come in handy when I started singing in bands. But the drawback was I never quite developed my own style, I just sang the way I heard it.
Now my rapid fire speech worked to my advantage when I was a radio DJ (the Matman on 99.3, Northampton, MA), but I never quite learned to turn it off when in simple conversations... but I wasn't stuttering anymore. That voice is what you hear most on the podcast or in conversations when I'm trying to compete with John Cimono for face time.
But the biggest goof is the way I pick up accents and how cetain words just come out Canadian like 'that is what this book is abooot!" or when I've been watching too much BBC and I need to go see my "doctah". If I hang out with friends from the Baaston area, I do notice I say 'cah'. But it isn't just accents I pick up from 'over listening'... it's voice or vocal patterns. I have an old UPS friend that when we would be working together I'd walk away sounding like he did. If i'm hanging out with my friends 'Picu' or Luis you would think I was born in Puerto Rico like they were. I also have a deaf cousin who people used to think I was making fun of when we hung out together.
So I guess for all the problems I could have, this isn't so bad. The drawback is when I stutter now (and i do occasionally) I get mortified and embarrassed like I was 5 years old. The other is that I get insane if anyone picks on someone because of a stutter. I do realize that I was so stinkin' lucky to overcome it because no one ever really made fun of me and put the pressure on which would only make the problem worse.
Spelling and Math? No cure for that one I'm afraid.