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Friday, November 17, 2006

Accent on Speech

Okay, those of you who have heard me speak realize that although I've lived in CA for over half of my life, I never really lost my Buffalo, NY accent. (I don't always hear it myself, but that's okay, my co-workers and friends like to remind me.) I was thinking about this the other day when I had to take the car in and get a rental. The clerk behind the Enterprise counter looked at me and said, "You're not from here, are you? What's that accent?" He must be pretty sensitive to accents, because I really don't think mine is that strong... so we ended up chatting a bit about regional differences. Like me sounding midwestern even though I'm from NY, when people expect that all New Yorkers should sound like they're from Brooklyn. (And by the come so few people on Ugly Betty sound like they're from NYC? I can understand the people in the magazine office...but what about Betty's family?)

Anyway, all this accent related thinking led me to the following quiz. I've taken an accent quiz before, that said I spoke general American English. I think this one is more accurate.

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


Jill said...

Here's what I got...even though people constantly tell me I have an accent. In the past, if someone asked what my accent was, I would answer: "Chola."

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

My parents are from Connecticut. They have lived in Canada for longer than they lived in the U.S., but my mom never lost her "accent." We love to make fun of how she pronounces "pants" (PEE-intz) and "ham" (HEE-um). We, of course, have no accent whatsover.

Dagny said...

Sometimes folks don't think I have an accent. At other times a bit of my parents Southern influences shows up. I got "Midland."

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

Makes sense about Midland being the "no accent." That's why operators for 800 numbers used to be based there -- easiest for people from all over the country to understand.

FFC said...

I took this quiz and evidently I am retarded. I have a heavy Southern accent. You heard my accent, didn't you? Well, according to this quiz I have a "West" accent. What is up with that? I have only lived in the west two years now. Oh, well, maybe I will "study up" and take it again. ;)

Tami said...

FFC - you so do not have a West accent! Weird. Okay, I take it all back...the test is flawed!! It apparently is only accurate for me...

Anonymous said...

I am not doing the test, sorry. You dont have an accent. Well lots of people can not understand what I say and always think my name is Christian. Even when other people introduce me. Oh well

D.T. said... can I take the test? I wanna know what kind of accent I have, because I honestly dont think I have one. Oh sure, I'll use the words "y'all" and "I know, huh?" but I dont think that influences my speech...does it?