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November 27, 2006

What American accent do you have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The West
The Midland
The Inland North
The Northeast
The South
What American accent do you have?
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HT to Amanda.


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Here's my 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."

Actually I'm from Nebraska, not the Great Lakes, but other than that the quiz was accurate for me. It seems like it was accurate for you too, Lindsay, being that you're a dirty Canadian trying to pass yourself off as a God-fearing patriotic American. I know you say that you have citizenship in both the US and Canada, but there ain't no dual-citizenship in the afterlife, Ms. Beyerstein. You're either with Satan, or with Bush. Yes, Jesus loves you, but he'll love you all the way to Hell if you choose to side with the enemies of free-market health care. Did you know Hell smells like charred back bacon?

Do the right thing: Renounce your Canadian citizenship and start speaking American, goddammit! All the little aborted stem cells in Heaven are praying right now for you to make the right decision. Don't let them down!

John, Lindsay doesn't really speak Canadian, I don't think. Usually I can easily tell Canadians by the way they pronounce "about" and "resource." I've detected occasional traces of Canadian raising in the way Lindsay speaks, but if I didn't know, I'd say she was American.

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

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland The Inland North Philadelphia The Northeast The West Boston North Central What American accent do you have?
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I'd like to point out that most Canadians do not have what Americans consider a Canadian accent.

Last time I was in Canada, anyone I talked to pronounced "about" with the raised vowel, /@"b@Ut/.

Solid red bar for Philadelphia accent! Thank God. I've been living in the DC area for 20+ years now, and every once in a while something comes out of my mouth that makes me jump! I've been leaving the "uh" sound out of "water" lately. Very distressing.

"Water" is actually the best word for distinguishing which of the big cities in the east someone is from. I've heard you can actually distinguish what part of NY city someone is from by how they say it, if you're a native.

My result:
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.

I get the same thing with French- raised in Montreal of American parents from the Northwest. I think the British influence in media helps Canadians lose the accent. It makes radio and TV anchormen an ongoing Canadian export.

Somehow nomatter what I did, it always said Midland North. It's not even close :(

Like Njorl, I'm "as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak." Which is infinitely preferable to being as Philadelphian as a bowl of pepper pot.

The "water" thing Njorl points to gets on my nerves sometimes: to my ear, we Fluffyans say something like "WAW-der," but certain people (my Missouri-via-SoCal hubby among them) insist on mocking it as "wooder."

Here's a question they really should have included:

"How many syllables is the word 'down'?" The options should be 1, 1.5, and 2.

My mother and sister pronounce the word "daown," which is one and a half syllables (a very difficult number to demonstrate in writing). Otherwise they have very little accent, but this is a pretty distinctive feature of the Great Plains. (I grew up in Kansas City.)

For the record, I took it twice, and depending on how critical I was of my own accent, I got Midlands and Philadelphia (the other was second each time). I've lived in Kansas City, Chicago, and DC. Weird.

I'd be interested to see results for someone from New Orleans. The few I've heard sounded like someone from the deep south who'd been living in Boston for a few years. I'd like to see if "The South" dominates, with "Boston" high on the list.

Inland North for me. Raised in Omaha, live in Minneapolis. Surprised me a little bit - I get the "you should do voice overs" comment every now and then, which I thought was the "no accent" category the quiz attributes to the Midlands category.

BTW the North Central/"Fargo" accent is not that pronounced in the Twin Cities. But you can also calibrate how far north you are in Minnesota by the accent (farther north, more pronounced the accent).

It pegged me correctly as "Western" -- which it describes as "the lowest common denominator of American speech." Gee, thanks.

I know most linguists claim that there are no distinct accents in the western half of the country, but that just seems nonsensical to me. There are certain signposts that linguists use to distinguish one accent from another, and just because these don't work to establish differences among western accents doesn't mean that there aren't any differences.

I'm Midland, which it says includes major southern cities. I'm actually from a medium-sized southern city, but I guess the years up north have neutered me.

The Philly accent makes me cringe...going hooooome, etc.

Midlands/Philadelphia. Am born and bred Marylander, Philadelphia and Baltimore accents are similar though not identical.

A severe Baltimore accent would indicate the following:

Do you pronounce Belair and Blair the same?
Lombard and Lumbered

a. Yes
b. No
c. Of course their the same, don't everybody, hon?

Pronounce Highlandtown

a. Hollntayoon
b. I'm sorry, this neighborhood is actually "North Canton"
c. I'm here in DC [sic] visiting from Nebraska, am I am "MAY-REE-LAND?"

I could go on...

"'Midland accent'... You have a good voice for TV and radio."
It's the accent and voice of my father, who was in broadcasting my first six years. I picked it up watching the (local) news as well as around the house. Shedding his regional accent was a matter of social ascent, and he reverted to the speech he had grown up with only to mock our relatives and his origins.

Bora found this two weeks ago. I got "midlander" but the component score for west and boston were stronger than any others. You never quite loose your roots. I am a california kid/nevada youth transplanted to massachusetts.

When I first came back east there were innumerable queries about where I got the accent that typically ended with "I never met anyone from "Nevahdah".

Lerner and Lowe come to mind:"...this verbal class distinction, by now should be antique! Oh why can't the..."

Strongly Inland North for me-- I am indeed from Michigan and yes, I was raised calling my carbonated drinks "pop."

So, like it says, I can confidently assert that I speak standard English straight out of the dictionary (come to think of it, I regularly assert precisely that, after a fashion, to my Korean English students). This is not the same as having no accent, mind-- the midlanders just make the most common mistakes.

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