I don't know if this is horrifying, but I can't hear some of the distinctions in the despairing efforts to get the elevator to recognize "eleven". Oh well, it took me years of listening to the BBC for me to be able to hear an American accent. Actually, I don't know how weird an experience that was, so.... Do you ever hear your own accent (whether it's you speaking or someone else) as a distinct thing?
It took me a considerable effort to hear the way I say "water". I have a Delaware/Philadelphia accent, and I pronounce it "warter". That first r isn't subtle, it's about the same as the second, but I'd blanked it out because I was pronouncing the word like a normal person and it's only got one r, and that r is at the end. Not only that, but I still believe that "warter" is more like the real stuff-- possibly wetter-- than "wahter" is.
Has there been work done how literacy affects what people hear?
Back to elevators-- if you have a more subtle sense of humor, here's a discussion which resulted when someone claimed that voice recognition had gotten so good that the comedy routine was an unfair insult to a well-developed field.
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