Monday, September 01, 2014

My accent


I think I speak newscaster, the neutral American based on the heart of the Midwest (Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa), with a few mid-Atlantic borrowings (the yod: news is /nyooz/), both because of Anglophilia — American Anglo-Catholicism's middle name — and people in England actually telling me to do them (tube: "John, say /tyoob/, not /toob/"). So... mid-century newscaster. But a South Philly guy, who spoke neutral American, not Fluffyan, once told me I sound like the Beach Boys. Nah. I've been here on and off for 30 years, so even though I don't have a local accent ("Youse want hoagies from Wawa?"), I'm entirely an East Coast person.

No "like" ("And I was, like"), no surfer tone (the boys' version of Valley Girl), no '80s and later vocal tics, etc. Because I'm old enough not to have them.

4 comments:

  1. I'm from near the St. Louis area and I was raised to say "sodee" instead of soda or pop, and to say "worsh" instead of "wash". And to this day, if I don't watch it, I say "dere" instead "there."

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    1. As you know, the first two sound Southern, Missouri arguably being part of the border South (while Kansas is not, interestingly — I was in greater Kansas City for four years; KCMO's not Southern but St. Louis arguably is); the last sounds like it came from German immigrants (brewers at Anheuser Busch). Hungarians pronounce "there" as /dere/ too.

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    2. There were a lot of Hungarians in my hometown.

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  2. This is the best Dialect map I've found on line: http://aschmann.net/AmEng/

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