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01 November 2006 @ 01:00 pm
At least someone understands me!  
Correctly pegged by the dialect-o-meter!

God, I remember in my radio days some woman writing a hate-letter complaining that she hated my "pretentious" accent, and that "noon" and "moon" should not be pronounced in the same way (nor should "warm" and "farm"). And I remember thinking, "Yes they should. Where in the Back-East is this nutso lady from?"

So I asked my mother for reference (native Oregonian-- she has the same dialect I do). Yes, she pronounces both pairs of words as if they rhyme.

The last irony... the author of the hate-letter was a Foreign Language Teacher at the local University. Ah-hahahahaha! Guess they never taught her about regional dialects. ;)

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.

The Midland
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?

ETA: When I worked in Illinois as a radio announcer, I'd get these occasional phone calls of "What country are yew from? Canada?" Sheesh. It's a nasal, flattened-vowel world in the Midwest. But not in the fun flattened-vowel way like the Aussies. ;)

michelle: Daddy!Winchester 1certainthings on November 1st, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)

In my world noon and moon rhyme but not so much warm and farm.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Johnhalfshellvenus on November 1st, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
For some people, it's "newn" and moon (I still laugh at the idea that "newn" would be a preferred pronunciation in any universe).

And apparently, "farm" (like "arm") and "woarm" (like "oar"). Is that the one you have for "warm"? It's very common in other parts of the States. Just not the West Coast part.

Though my husband and many others from California say "Cal" is if it's halfway to "cow" (i.e., almost no "L" in it). I do not know why. :0

I see your AngstyJohn, and I raise you HandsomeBroodyJohn!
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Clark Went from schmissbadboy_fangirl on November 1st, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
I've lived in California or Oregon all my life except for 18 months I spent in Tennessee. It told me I had a midland accent. How funny. What an interesting test.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on November 1st, 2006 09:24 pm (UTC)
Eeeee! I didn't know you'd ever lived in Oregon *clings to you like a demented 8-year-old*

The one thing the test doesn't cover... where are your PARENTS from?

Back when kids didn't go to daycare so much, and stayed more within their own tight family circle, a lot of kids grew up with a bleed-in of their mother/caretaker's dialect.

This is why a friend who grew up in Eugene says "been" the same as "bean," and calls me "KAAH-ren" instead of "Karen" (rhymes with "kerren"). Her mom is from Pennsylvania. I had a teacher from Portland whose mother was obviously from back East-- he said "shedule" (ork) and "beeeen" as well.

As kids, we always lived in fear of picking up one of my Dad's Utah-isms by mistake. They say "theeAYtr" for "theater," and "LAW-yer" for "lawyer" (most people pronounce that like "loyer"). :D
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: father & son from schmissbadboy_fangirl on November 1st, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
I lived from in Lebanon, Oregon from when I was 9 til I was 18. It's about 8 miles east of I-5, 30 miles north of Eugene. Little farm town (oh, and my farm sounds different than my warm). My mother was born in New Mexico, but her parents were from Oklahoma. They moved to Oregon when she was young. My dad was born in California, but his folks were west coasters strictly, Washington, Oregon and California.

I have a good friend named Karen (pronounced kerren ;)) and she's from Michigan, so all her vowels are long. She always says my name Candy with much emphasis on the *a* vowel, so funny.

What part of Oregon do you live in? I'm in Arcata, CA, which is only 80 miles south of the Oregon border, and I'm actually going up to Medford on Saturday for a church related outing. My mother still lives in the Lebanon area (just east of there, in Sweet Home).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on November 2nd, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
I'm not in Oregon anymore-- I'm in Sacramento now.

I lived outside and in Salem until I was 8, then Portland for 5 years, and then Eugene. Basically, all the major cities except Medford running up the I-5 corridor. So I have the generic Pacific Northwest accent (i.e., pretty much no accent), which isn't the same as, say, Central or Eastern Oregon (it's more of a dustbowl sound, I think, in the Eastern part of the state).

Much as I dislike hearing my name as "KAH-ren," I actually hate "KYAH-ren" more. That's the New Jersey/New York pronunciation. :0 Hard on the ears!
When it is darkest, men see the stars.witchofthedogs on November 1st, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC)
"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.

Well, that's interesting.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on November 2nd, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
:D Apparently Delaware does not exist!

I've lived in the Southern part of Illinois (3 years), and clearly there is a slight accent to me!

But the vanilla dialect for TV and Radio is really the West Coast one. Midland is only slightly different, I guess-- and not enough to be really jarring to the generic listener (not the way, say, the Deep South or the Bronx might be).

I'm kind of wondering why they didn't put "roof" and "route" on their list, but maybe they figured that would just be borrowing trouble! And where I live, "roof" rhymes with "goof," and "route" rhymes with "pout". NOT that there's any correlation between those particular words. ;)
daybrightdaybright on November 1st, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
I could not resist taking that test even though I´m not American : ), the results -Inland North-. So that´s how they teach us to speak english in Iceland, although I did spend a year in Alberta, Canada ín my late teens, that is inland and north but on the wrong side of the border.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 2nd, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
Hmmmm. I'm trying to think what Inland North would sound like (Michigan? Or more like Wisonsin or Minnesota?).

It seems most people in other countries get taught either the West Coast or London accent, depending on the country's leanings. However, what you wind up with I'd expect to be colored a little by what you started out with. That's part of what makes foreign-accented English so nice to hear!
daybrightdaybright on November 2nd, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
schools here actually try to teach us "Oxford English" but hey, american movies, american tv shows, american music everywhere so this is what comes out : )
the reluctant lobotomistfourfreedoms on November 2nd, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
I got the exact same score you did, which is good, because I was born in Illinois and spent most of my life in California.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on November 2nd, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
:D It definitely leans on some key words, such as "Don" and "Dawn" (those are the same to me-- I had no idea those could be different to anyone until someone nagged me about it in Illinois!), and pen/pin (wonder if that flags down anyone except Oklahoma and Texas folks).

I still feel grumbly about the "What Percent Dixie Are You?" test, where anything _neutral_ counted as "not NON-Dixie" instead of neutral. So, where I should have been 0% Dixie I came out something like 33%.

Also, the Pacific Northwest did not appear to be included in the Dixie test's discretion. So if you pixed "pill bug" or "crawdad" you got marked as Midwestern or something. But that's what they're called where I grew up!

My sister and I boggled over it (she grew up 1/2 in SoCal and 1/2 in Oregon). We both felt that we had to go with "crawdad" (and not 'crawfish' or 'crayfish', and OMG there were some freaky other choices). On the names-for-the-garden-bug-that-rolls-into-a-ball, I was dying to pick "sow bug" (but I think that's a Utah-ism), I DID pick "pill bug" (that's what people call it where I'm from). But there was also "roly-poly", which I thought was a term our kids' nursery school made up because it was cute. No-- my sister and husband had heard it before. So it might be a California thing. *shrugs*
the reluctant lobotomist: back in blackfourfreedoms on November 2nd, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
I thought it was definitely far to short, it didn't address long vowels really at all. And I didn't see much that would go for the North-East, where are all the questions asking about dropped Rs and long As? Granted, Massachusetts/Maine should be an area all of it's own, because for some weird reason people in New Hampshire don't seem to sound like that. Whatever, they're probably not linguistic students.

The use of slang would also be very telling, you're right.

I call it a roly-poly so it probably is a california thing.
Valerie: Danny/Lindsaygaladrielriver on November 6th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
I have a midland accent.

I never really thought I had a accent.

Now I'm gonna be paying attention to what I say all day.

Damn it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on November 7th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
Eeep! Sorry!

I'm not sure what "Midland" means exactly. It almost sounds like "Northeast, but with not weirdisms" if you know what I mean. Not Maine. Not Boston or Pennsylvania. Not New York or New Jersey. Just... all those other states.

Because "Midwest" is pretty commonly described as such, and not as "Midland." *ponders*

Wonder why they didn't add in extras for fun. As in, "Is 'eh' a synonym for 'you know'?" Or, "When you say 'here,' does it rhyme with 'near' or with 'Hyeah'"?

Just tell everyone you speak Elvish. That'll keep them guessing. ;)
Valerie: Mirandagaladrielriver on November 10th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
Elvish? Yesss. *looks up school in U.k.*

I say 'you know' a lot but I also say 'Y'all' as well. And when I say 'Aunt' it's the same as 'Ant'.

And 'Houston' is 'Hugh-ston' not 'How-ston'.

And 'Hear' is 'Near'.

*headdesk* I'm still listening to how I speak and it's getting on my nerves. It's also kind of interesting.

Hmmm, contradicting aren't I?