Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Wish Someone Would Tell Me If I Actually Have an Accent or Not

So instead of writing today, I'm going to do this accent meme thing that's been passed around the interwebs here lately. Supposedly, there is no Midwest accent, and I do tend to think that any words I'm mispronouncing are thanks to my parents and their silly Pennsylvania accents.

If you're really dying to read something of mine today, you can find my new piece Counted up at Turning River.

Record aloud the following:

  • Your name and/or username
  • Where you’re from
  • The following words: Aunt, Roof, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting Image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught, Orange, Coffee, direction, naturally, aluminum and herbs
  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
Oh, I'm going to add some links, so you can see some other people doing it. Shoot me a note if you do it and I'll add you.



  1. Ar! if I only had sound.
    Yes, you have an accent. Everybody has an accent because there is in fact no single correct way to speak, in any language. Only comparisons, no absolutes. Put yourself at the middle of this wide web, and it's only the Others who have accents.

  2. I don't think of you as having an accent, but I don't think of myself as having one either. Sometimes I hear the Cleveland come through loud & clear though.

    Does this test still work if you have picked things up from other people, such as, I don't say "pop" anymore, EVER? What if I say mayonnaise as "may-nayse" because of my mom, who is from southwest Virginia?

    Or is that kind of the point? I want the whole internet to do this.

  3. Nope. No accent. You sound just like me and I'm from California.

  4. Yes, the whole internet should do this.

    Nan - everyone is an Other to me :)

  5. You have a girl accent. Girl. You sound just like a lady.

  6. Damn the lack of a "like" button.

    I mean, DARN the lack of a "like" button.

  7. Nope... no accent from here. Another one from California. Except I don't think anyone here says Pop... I don't think, "we" say soda. Or, at least I do... maybe that's an accent thing. Cheers!

  8. I just discovered yet another strange pronunciation with my mom's accent (you know, the Jewish New Jersey accent) - when she says "robot" she sounds almost like a frog saying "ribbit". Too funny.


  9. Eman - I love the people who call it coke no matter what it is.

    Becks - you shouldn't have told me that. Now I'm gonna try and make your mom say robot whenever possible.

  10. Pop!

    You were much more composed than I; I'll give you that.

  11. Maybe, but not nearly as adorable. Seeing as you had, like, a face and all.

  12. Aunt is not pronounced "ahnt." That's just fucking inexcusable. Otherwise, I guess we'd be about 98% in agreement on how words should be said because we, um, are from the same place. Well, kind of. I'm not from Cleveland. But still in NEOH.

    I realize it's regionally unacceptable to do so, but I use the word soda exclusively. In my teens I made a conscious decision to not say "pop" anymore ever, and I've stuck to it, stubbornly and in the face of dialectical adversity. Soda.


  13. I refuse to let your criticism change my mind. Ahhhnt. Otherwise it just sounds like a bug.

  14. I wish that were true. I wish I was. Just today.

  15. I'm one of those people who are so stuck on a brand that every soft drink is called coke. (Apparently, when I don't call it a coke, I call it a soft drink.) I'm really not sure where that comes from. Early childhood in PA and MD, then 10 years in KY, with parents from FL and KS. I called one set of grandparents Nonnie and Pop-Pop, I pronounce crayon just like it looks (cray-on), and when I address a group of people, I say "you guys". I don't know if I get to claim a region.

    Oh, and that wheeled contraption is a basket. I don't care that baskets don't have wheels. They do at the grocery store (I don't call it a supermarket, either).


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