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.


  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."

    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.

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

  2. This is the best Dialect map I've found on line:


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