Apparently I have developed an accent when I speak English. Obviously I have an American accent, but judging from the curious inquiries from people here in California, it's anything but standard or recognizable. Usually people ask where I'm from, and when New Mexico isn't a satisfactory answer they probe on, asking where I grew up, where my family is from, if I speak any other languages, and so forth until finally, unable to pinpoint the explanation they are after, they simply say, "You have a funny accent."
Well, what can I say? The only thing notable about my English, I believe, is that it is nearly accent-less. Not a lot of slang, no regionalisms, no twang, nothing really odd other than the fact that I pronounce my words properly, enunciate as to be easily understood, and use correct grammar. All of these years living abroad, teaching English to foreigners for some cash on the side, and interacting with people who are from different parts of the world and have different levels of fluency in English has led me to speak a seriously neutral variant of my mother tongue.
I wonder if this is one of those things that will adjust over time, or whether I will keep this CNN English from here on out...
What about you long-term expats out there? Have you had this experience, where people back "home" tell you that you've acquired a foreign or strange accent? I'd be curious to hear about your experiences.