In his play Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw commented that English speaking people are amazed when someone speaks English really well and automatically assume that person is a foreigner, because: #1) most English speaking people speak English very badly, and #2) people who learn English as a second language generally learn to speak and use English better than the natives. Perhaps this is true, perhaps it’s not. I’m a native-born speaker of English myself. But one of the things I hate more than deciding if someone’s English is grammatically correct for being a college level student is when someone asks (anyone, really) the famous 2-in-1-question-and-statement: “You have an accent. Where are you from?”
AND YOU SAY…
Initial response: “How the heck is that any of your business?”
George Bernard Shaw response: “Oh, my English is that good, then?”
Rude Tit-for-tat response: “YOU have an accent too. I had no idea that there was life on other planets after all.”
2nd plausible response: “I’m from [blank]. And you are from…?”
3rd plausible response: [SILENCE]
4th plausible response: “And you guessed I have an accent from me saying “fine”? Maybe you should re-consider your chosen profession and become a spy.”
Another rude tit-for-tat response: “Really? I have an accent? ‘Judge not and ye will not be judged.'” Haha.
5th plausible response: “Why would I tell YOU such a thing? Who are you???”
6th plausible response: “I’m visiting from the Milky Galaxy. Ask me nicely and I’ll give you a one-way ticket there.”
Last rude tit-for-tat response: “What will you ask for next? My date of birth and my address? Are you an identity thief or what?”
Yeah. Behold my hatred for such an irrelevant, ANNOYING, RUDE question. After all, how is it any of some stranger’s business where you’re from? Just curiosity, you say? Well I say it’s RUDE RUDE RUDE!!! And the best way to answer this rudeness with some witty retort or just haughty silence and a sniff. Or whatever.