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Accents!

Dan

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1) What accent do you speak in?

Me ... I talk in the generic Midland Northern accent of the US Midwest, with a hint of a Buffalo accent (the nasal flat-a) if you deliberately try to listen for it.

2) What accents do you encounter where you live and at work?

In Orlando, most accents you would encounter were US/Eastern/Midland Northern, but in the part fo town where I worked, you could just as well have been in rr'll Jaw-juh ... it was very Southern. Sadly, I couldn't understand many older African-Americans when they spoke; they accents were very thick.
 

Chet

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Most of us are the plain-jane midwestern "Tom Brokaw" sounding folks (yes, I know he's a canuck).

South Milwaukee as well as parts of the Lake Michigan shore to our north (like Sheboygan and Manitowoc) speak with a Germanic tinge that comes across sounding like the Mackenzies ("...You goin to da store, eh?")
 

el Guapo

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Dan,
I think I speak Military brat (some time in the south) with a slight twist of Western Kansas residual cowpoke. You have spoken with me. Other than retarded half the time, what accent do you think I have?
 

el Guapo

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bturk said:
Most of us are the plain-jane midwestern "Tom Brokaw" sounding folks (yes, I know he's a canuck).
Thats Jenning's, Brokaw is from the Dakotas.
 
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I'm also sporting that nice nasal flat a: My brother is Peeatrick (not Patrick) and I just called my Deead last night, my mom wasn't home.

I tend to pick up accents quick. When I was a foreign exchange student, all my american friends were from ohio and nebraska, so my brother then was Paht and it was Dahddy. In Geneseo, my friends were all Long Island, and I would slip into that. I picked up a pretty credible South Carolina accent whilst there. But now that I'm back to upstate NY, its back to my original accent.
 

Tranplanner

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I speak mainly hoser, eh?

I have a lot of brit words/expressions in my vocabulary due to my background...

I think Canadians in general have a pretty neutral accent - supposedly we are in demand as English teachers as ours is the easiest accent to understand.
 

Seabishop

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3,838
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Rhode Island accents are kind of like Boston's but without that typical Kennedy "aaaaaaa" sound. No R's at the end of words.

It can be a really "dumb" sounding accent. In the most severe cases, RI accents can sound like a deaf person talking.

I've always been interested in regional accents, but haven't done enough travelling to notice much firsthand. I was surprised though by the weird twangy accents of some people in rural S. Central PA.

COPS is the best place for regional dialects on TV.
 

donk

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Since living in the maritimes I have picked up an eastern canadian accent. More "aboot" (about) and "hoose" (house) then before I moved here.

Accents with the french people I deal with are really strong and can vary greatly from small community to small community. For example I can understand someone from Neguac's French, but can't understand French from BSA due to the accent and use of language.
 
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I'm a strange bird. I've lived in New Orleans all of my life yet do not have a strong local accent. If I'm around a group of people who do have strong accents, then I'll pick up on it, but for the most part, my accent somewhat non-descript with just a little southern twang to it.
 

Cardinal

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I have noticed that if I stay in a place for long, I can start to pick up the local accent, but I guess its over dat way, aina? Crimony, I was only un nort a couple, three years when I started talking like a native Wisconsinner. Ah sure, I don't say "bubbler," but den dat's more of a Milwaukee thing.
 

Habanero

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On some words you can tell I'm from a southern state, but mostly when I slip in a "ya'll". Ugh. :(
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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donk said:

Accents with the french people I deal with are really strong and can vary greatly from small community to small community. For example I can understand someone from Neguac's French, but can't understand French from BSA due to the accent and use of language.
The Parisian french I learned at school did nothing to prepare me for the french that is spoken in Northern Ontario... My wife's french accent comes through sometimes - it's so cute.

Mike D's post reminded me that I also speak Trawna.
 

donk

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I'm not much of an "eh" sayer.

The local saying / phrase is "Howse she goin'" and the answer can only be "The very best".

I have left instructions that should I ever say that to be shot immediately.
 

kms

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MIne is pretty generic. I suppose I sound a little SW PA, without "y'uns", a term I refuse to use (means you all, all of you, you guys). Somw of my words still come out sounding Southern.

Funny, my sister works a a local WalMart. The person who answers the phone knows my voice now, and loses my calls, so I've begun asking for my sister using a Southern accent, and the calls always go through!
 

Mary Poppins

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66
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4
I have a Maine accent...minus the Ayuh's! I tried my best not to pick up the Maine farmer accent..I actually use R's when I am talking and try to limit the use of wicked as much as possible.
Since I have only lived in Maine and NH, my accent has never changed. My husband on the other hand is a hybrid of NH and Indiana. I have never heard a strong accent, but sometimes he will say something and I will sit and wonder what he has just said!!:) I understand it all a little more after visiting his best friends in Indiana.
 

biscuit

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My accent has faded from moving around so so much over the past few years. But get a few strong-ones in me and I'm once again speaking with the soft twang of Upstate, SC.
Yun's is classic Southwest, PA and even though I pick up accents very easily, I I don't think you'll ever hear, "Yun's wanna go daantawn" ever escape from from my mouth.
 

Trail Nazi

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I would have to say I have a Northern Florida accent (a mix of Southern Georgia and Southern). However, if I tired, angry or I have some alcohol, I sound like a Southernbelle. Now, if I hear anyone else with a thick Southern accent, I slip right into it.
 

Zoning Goddess

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Southern thru and thru. Unfortunately I have had to run from restaurants/ theaters, etc. when encountering an overwhelming NJ/NY nasal accent. They are all over here and make fingernails on the blackboard seem like the angels singing...
 

Wannaplan?

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donk said:
Since living in the maritimes I have picked up an eastern canadian accent. More "aboot" (about) and "hoose" (house) then before I moved here.

Accents with the french people I deal with are really strong and can vary greatly from small community to small community. For example I can understand someone from Neguac's French, but can't understand French from BSA due to the accent and use of language.
Six years ago, I lived in Connecticut for about a year. Many native New Englanders mistook me for Canadian. Last year, a friend of mine who was from NYC pinpointed my "aboot" and "hoose" verbal tendencies. Though I freely admit the "aboot" perversion of "about," I don't think I say "hoose." I was born and raised in mid-Michigan and have no idea why I sound a little Canadian. When I taught middle-school for a short period, the kiddies laughed because I "sounded funny." And that was in northern Michigan, where the kids have more of a tendency to speak an interesting mix between Minnesotan and Canadian. Strange, eh?
 

PlannerGirl

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i think i have the military thing going too, folks always say "your not from around here" or "where ya from?"

i have no accent that i can tell, some words have various accents based on where i learned the word or who i learned if from. my use of language also includes phrases in many languages and dialects (sp?) none of which i speak very well if at all.

go figure
 

Dan

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El Guapo said:
Dan,
Other than retarded half the time, what accent do you think I have?
Midland Northern, Guap. Conventional U.S. broadcast English. I didn't detect a southern twang at all, or any renmants of the gruff Kansas Cowpoke accent from the Dodge City years.

Now, let's see if you qualify as a possible NPR host. Say "Nicaragua."
 

donk

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Just thought of a few other language eccentricities in my area and ones that I have picked up.

Down = dewn

direction is not north or south it is up river or dewn river. In my area up river is south. In my parent's area upriver is north and when driving to fredericton upriver changes about half way because the river changes. (From Miramichi to Nashwaak)
 

SW MI Planner

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Six years ago, I lived in Connecticut for about a year. Many native New Englanders mistook me for Canadian. Last year, a friend of mine who was from NYC pinpointed my "aboot" and "hoose" verbal tendencies. Though I freely admit the "aboot" perversion of "about," I don't think I say "hoose." I was born and raised in mid-Michigan and have no idea why I sound a little Canadian. When I taught middle-school for a short period, the kiddies laughed because I "sounded funny." And that was in northern Michigan, where the kids have more of a tendency to speak an interesting mix between Minnesotan and Canadian. Strange, eh?
I'm right there with you on that. I went to North Carolina about a year ago and they thought I was Canadian. My sister moved to Marquette about the time I moved to the south side of MI and she is totally picking up the UP accent!

((Edited because apparently I can't spell))
 
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SGB

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I've been told that I have a Connecticut accent, although I still have trouble recognizing it as such.
 
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My best friend married a Maine-iac, and after a couple cocktails, i coaxed the groom's grandmother to say for me: "You can't get they-ah from Hee-ah". hee! i was so happy!
 

pete-rock

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I pretty much speak your basic Midland Northern accent with some black/southern influences.

I've been in Chicago for 15 years and never picked up the "she-CAW-ga" accent. But hey, dat jus means I heeyavent been heeyangin arowwnd da nort'wes and sowt'wes seeyides a towwn much, ya knoo?

Two things. You know who I think has the quintessential midwestern accent? Gary Sinise. And I think there is a distinct Midland Southern accent that too often is labeled as "southern". I live in Muncie, IN for several years (aren't there some Ball State Cardinals around here?) and their accent is different. In fact, the central and southern parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and most of Missouri are quite different from the rest of the Midwest, but not quite southern.
 

nerudite

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I have the non-accent. Nobody can ever figure out where I'm from. I've dropped almost all of my SoCal accent, except for the occasional Valley lilt. Most people I've met in Alberta think I'm from Toronto... which I don't understand because I pronounce things very different than most Canadians.

I have picked up a few things since I've been here... like saying sorry like soary. Hopefully I'll never pick up the ending the normal sentences with question-like lilts... that can get annoying pretty fast.
 

NHPlanner

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pete-rock said:
I live in Muncie, IN for several years (aren't there some Ball State Cardinals around here?) and their accent is different.
Yep...there are a few of us on here. :) 5 or 6 at last count.

Ball State is where I lost my distinctive New Hampsha accent, and became a hybrid, as my wife so eloquently put it in her post. Muncie does tend to have a southern influenced accent from my experience. Spending 5 years there diluted my NH accent, and now I'm kind of vanilla....but still pepper in a few NH or IN words from time to time.

My brother is the worst with accents. He spent 4 years in college in Maine, and it only enhanced the dropping of r's where they should be, and adding them where they shouldn't be. A typical sentence from my brother would be: "I think I'll go get a beeah outta da fridge. Who are the Pats playing today? The Beahs? Is it in Chicargo or at home?"
 

donk

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This reminds me of a geography prof I had who was Scottish. He would say "North Americker". the funny thing was we had a TA called Erica, her name came out "Ericker"
 
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Despite my somewhat non-descript accent, there are still little nuances that give way to my New Orleans heritage. For instance, I have trouble pronouncing words that begin with "th," like them, that, these, those. In New Orleans, they are pronounced "dem," "dat," "dese," "dose." I have to talk slowly in order to pronounce the "th" correctly.
 

mike gurnee

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One can tell I am from the south. After a few beers, I can make "well" into a four syllable word.

One time in the KY hills I was helping a customer find where a lot was on a map. I kept saying, "is it right here next to the viaduct?" After four tries, he finally understood me when I said, "is it rite cheer next to the vi-dock?"
 

pete-rock

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mike gurnee said:
After four tries, he finally understood me when I said, "is it rite cheer next to the vi-dock?"
I was driving from Chicago to visit Disney World several years ago. My wife and I had a cooler with food, beverages, etc. for us and my daughter. We stopped at a gas station outside of Knoxville, TN to get some ice for the cooler.

I asked the guy behind the counter, "How much for a bag of ice?" And he said, "Nahn-nahn siyint pluh tak a dolahyt." It took for or five "excuse me?" before I realized he was saying, "Ninety-nine cents plus tax, a dollar eight."

Gotta love those Southerners.
 

kms

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I loved my dad's KY accent:

ahurl - oil
pah moor - power mower
karhn - corn
 

biscuit

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Even though my accent is not very thick at all, there are a few words that mark me as a native southerner.
Nine - "nIIne"
What - "Wuat"
and the one my Yankee local girl girlfriend constantly ribs me about...
Rural - "Ruuule"
 

Cardinal

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I remember taking a boating class in Tennessee. The instructor kept saying things like "always pass to the right of the boy." What boy? What if he isn't there. It took me a good fifteen minutes to figure out that he was saying buoy.
 

mcmplans

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Having grown up in Middle Tennessee, I had a pretty thick southern accent. Then, I went to graduate school in Memphis, and for some reason my accent became less noticeable. I think it has to do with all of the people that I was in grad school with (mostly not from the US). However, I took a job in Mississippi straight out of school and my accent got worse. Now, I am back in middle Tennessee and I have to say that even though I have a noticeable southern accent, I have a hard time understanding a lot of the people that come into our office.
 

SkeLeton

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I barely speak any english.... so I wouldn't know what accent I have, probably some NY/NJ accent or a plain accent (normal US accent, 'cause it ain't UK or Aussie accent ;))
 

Dan

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SkeLeton said:
probably some NY/NJ accent or a plain accent (normal US accent, 'cause it ain't UK or Aussie accent
I worked with an exchange student from Chile a long time ago (last name was Pinochet ... hmmm), and his accent was very Midwestern, with European Spanish overtones.

Spanish accents in the US; around here, I hear mostly the northern Mexico accent, where it sounds as if the speaker is falling askeep as they speak. Mexicans from the northern part of the country ... speak ... very ... slowly, and seem to extend random syllables. Listen to Spanish language radio in the US, though, and Spanish is spoken very quickly. Strange, since the primary audience of such stations are slow-speaking Norteños; the stations only play sad corridos and Ranchero tunes .

The Carribean Spanish accents I hear are very musical, and spoken very quickly. I have a very difficult time understanding Cubans or Puerto Ricans.
 

SkeLeton

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I say that I probably have a NY/NJ accent, because I learned English there... I definately don't have a Chilean speaking English accent...
 

Greenescapist

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It's funny that so many people here know about the stereotypical Maine accent. I grew up there and don't really have it, but I can hear it in my parent's voices sometimes.

Idea is "idear" and soda is "soder."

Mainers may say some things strangely, but it's nothing compared to the ear-splitting accents I hear in Massachusetts and RI.
 

Dan

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Greenescapist said:
Idea is "idear" and soda is "soder."
I've been hearing that a lot of the BBC World Service recently. A new rule of BBC English seems to be "if a place name normally ends in a vowel, it must be replaced by an r." Thus, we end up hearing South Africer, Chicager, Californier, Colorader, Mexicer, Russer, Indier, and so on.
 

OhioPlanner

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I have a lovely Arklatex accent.

Family is from NW Louisiana, language formative years were spent in SW Arkansas, then moved to Texas. Most people from this small tri-state area have a similar accent.


It's not very strong, except after speaking to my family.
 

ajacks13

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I'm a Chicagoan - through and through, although I don't sound like the (so-called) "typical" 'da Bears" native speaker. I'm a chameleon when it comes to accents and can blend in pretty much anywhere. Most people don't hear one at all. I was recently in South Africa and fell in love with their varied dialects. I picked up some phrases right away - my favorite: "Is it?" which means "Really?"
 

mike gurnee

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I use "please" as a short cut for "yes, please". My wife from the Cincy area uses "please?" as a short cut for "I didn't understand you; please tell me again what the hell you are trying to say". Can lead to some very interesting one word dialogs.
 

Dan

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Anyone here notice that in the past few years, the aviation communications term "say again?" is replacing "what?", "pardon me?" and "excuse me?"

Folks in Buffalo, Toronto and Los Angeles say "the" before a limited access highway route number. In Buffalo, Main Street is simply "route 5," but the Kensington Expressway is "the 33."

In NYC, signs for numbered streets never include the ordinal suffix. You see "5 AVE" or "42 ST," even in subway stations. I've heard a few New Yorkers exclude the ordinal suffix when saying street names, but not many.

In planning cases, conditions for approval of a project almost everywhere are "conditions." In Kansas, they're "stipulations."

In Florida, planners will look at you strangely if you discuss "adequate public facilities." There, it's "concurrency." "Will the proposed subdivision site have concurrency?"

In the United States, you'll have zoning ordiances, unified development codes, unified developement ordinances, and so on. In Canada, they're "by-laws."

In North America, litter on a stick is a "billboard." In some other English-speaking countries, they're called "holdings."

The official unit of length in the state of Texas is the "vara." I've seen relatively new surveys from the El Paso area that use the vara instead of feet or meters.
 

Cardinal

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Dan said:
Anyone here notice that in the past few years, the aviation communications term "say again?" is replacing "what?", "pardon me?" and "excuse me?"
"Say again" is an military term that came about as a result of artillery. The term "repeat" means to repeat the last fire mission, i.e. to shell the place again. It is never used over the radio except in this instance, to avoid unfortunately letting off an artillery barrage that nobody wants. Instead, if you need to hear something again, you use "say again."
 
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