On Accents

Know what's really fun about the internets? Meeting people through one common like, and then discovering bizarrely consistent preferences for other things. Like all the crafty bloggers around who can recite the dialog from The Princess Bride backwards and forwards (I can, can you?), and stuff like that.

Wow. Know what's also funny? That I just wrote that paragraph up there because I thought it was related to what I'm about to write, but now that I've written it I have NO idea what I was thinking. Do I need more coffee this morning, or less?

Anyway. Oh! I remember. I've met bunches of crafty bloggers who've told me they're chameleon-like with their dialect: if they spend three hours in Atlanta they end up talking like a Southerner. Certainly this isn't a universal thing. It's also possible (probable?) that only two or three people have told me this, and I'm exaggerating the trend for my own writing purposes.

At any rate, I thought I'd write some commentary to go along with my results from from the dialect quiz that's been circling around:

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast
Philadelphia
The South
The Midland
North Central
Boston
The West
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

I believe that in my case, “Midland North” would be more accurate as, “Not Quite Canadian.” My results break down into me being overwhelmingly Northeast, with Philadelphia a close second. Why? Because I lived in northern Delaware for four years before moving out here (and N. DE is like one big suburb of Philly). To me, Delaware was like the South, as compared to New York. It messed with my dialect, big-time. Then I moved to western Canada, where the accent is less hoser than the stereotype might lead you to believe. After 4 1/2 years living here, Americans think I totally sound like a Canadian. Vancouverites, however, think I just talk a little funny, and after a few minutes figure out that I'm American – but not that I'm from New York.

And that, my friends, is what I have to say this grey and rainy Sunday morning. Discuss.

Technorati Tags: language

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.