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What ACCENT are you speaking?

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31 Jul 2022 12:32 #334674 by RobertB

mc wrote: Yous all've got accents even if you say you don't.... you know that right? :lol: I feel like it's a bit of a US thing for people to say they have no accent. Maybe it's got a slightly different meaning to how I am interpreting.... but trust me.... yous all've got 'em. Might be different to those around you, something more "middle of the road" - but that's still an accent.

That NY quiz is fun. From memory it thinks I am from the North East. There's an English one too I think, which probably unsurprisingly makes me a Londoner (I think there's a school of thought that the Aus accent is like a half Irish half cockney kind of thing. Kiwi of course has much more of a Scottish influence).

Edit: Just did the quiz and it thinks I'm from Jersey, NO or NY :lol:

Speaking strictly from USA experience; there's a generic accent that is basically TV default. If your accent differs from it, you're stereotyped, for good or bad. A hillbilly or cowboy accent doesn't exactly scream higher learning. This is solely because pretty much the entire US population has marinated in TV and movie tropes their entire lives. "We need a snooty doctor character here, so let's hang a fancy New England accent on him." Is this cause or effect? Dunno. Times are changing, and stereotypes aren't as powerful as they were, but they're still out there. Hence, "I don't have an accent."

Is it like that in other parts of the world, such as England or Australia? I don't know, I've never been there.
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31 Jul 2022 14:08 #334676 by Jackwraith
In my experience, there's often a mild prejudice against different accents from different areas in other parts of the world, as well. Berlin German is a quite different accent (and often dialect) than southwestern German, for example, and the two groups will complain about not being able to understand each other or end up giving the "you talk funny" expressions. Similarly, accents between different areas of England can differ vastly. Someone speaking Scouse (Merseyside/Liverpool area) will sound very different from someone speaking Geordie (Newcastle area) and both will sound quite different from many London accents and all of them will hold it against each to some degree, especially on football match days...

As for using it to demean someone's intelligence. I don't know that it's consistent in the same way much of middle America looks down on deep South accents here, but there can be stigma attached. I just don't think it's as broadly applied. Now, when it comes to Irish accents, that's a little different.

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31 Jul 2022 14:28 #334677 by Legomancer

Rliyen wrote: The last one was for my wife. She is not native and when I brought her home from CA, we drove all the way back. When going through western LA, she saw a exit marker for the town of Maringouin. She asked me how to pronounce it. I told her "Marin-Gwen". She asked me what it meant, I told her, "It's Acadian for mosquito."


Couple is traveling through Louisiana and stops at a fast food restaurant in Natchitoches. They order food and one asks the person at the counter, "Excuse me, how do you pronounce the name of this place?" The person looks confused for a second and then says, slowly, "Bur-ger King"

(it's "NAK-a-tish")
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31 Jul 2022 14:32 #334679 by Legomancer

the_jake_1973 wrote: I was in basic training with a dude named Boudreaux and his accent was thiccy thicc bayou. It took me near 3 weeks to really decipher him talking at full tilt. watching Swamp People on the history channel always makes me think of him.


I went to school in Lafayette for a bit and it was wild. There were many local TV ads that came in two versions: one in English with French subtitles and one on French with English subtitles.
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31 Jul 2022 17:49 #334680 by southernman

mc wrote: Yous all've got accents even if you say you don't.... you know that right? :lol: I feel like it's a bit of a US thing for people to say they have no accent. Maybe it's got a slightly different meaning to how I am interpreting.... but trust me.... yous all've got 'em. Might be different to those around you, something more "middle of the road" - but that's still an accent.

That NY quiz is fun. From memory it thinks I am from the North East. There's an English one too I think, which probably unsurprisingly makes me a Londoner (I think there's a school of thought that the Aus accent is like a half Irish half cockney kind of thing. Kiwi of course has much more of a Scottish influence).

Edit: Just did the quiz and it thinks I'm from Jersey, NO or NY :lol:


It says Kiwi Tom could be from Jersey City, Los Angeles, or Honolulu.

Apparently, I read somewhere, that old recordings of Victorian Brits sound most like New Zealanders.
We have some part of the Scottish accent down south because the first few ships arriving there were from Scotland, but the rest of NZ is different (mainly English ships).
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01 Aug 2022 04:34 #334687 by mc
Replied by mc on topic What ACCENT are you speaking?

RobertB wrote:

mc wrote: Yous all've got accents even if you say you don't.... you know that right? :lol: I feel like it's a bit of a US thing for people to say they have no accent. Maybe it's got a slightly different meaning to how I am interpreting.... but trust me.... yous all've got 'em. Might be different to those around you, something more "middle of the road" - but that's still an accent.

That NY quiz is fun. From memory it thinks I am from the North East. There's an English one too I think, which probably unsurprisingly makes me a Londoner (I think there's a school of thought that the Aus accent is like a half Irish half cockney kind of thing. Kiwi of course has much more of a Scottish influence).

Edit: Just did the quiz and it thinks I'm from Jersey, NO or NY :lol:

Speaking strictly from USA experience; there's a generic accent that is basically TV default. If your accent differs from it, you're stereotyped, for good or bad. A hillbilly or cowboy accent doesn't exactly scream higher learning. This is solely because pretty much the entire US population has marinated in TV and movie tropes their entire lives. "We need a snooty doctor character here, so let's hang a fancy New England accent on him." Is this cause or effect? Dunno. Times are changing, and stereotypes aren't as powerful as they were, but they're still out there. Hence, "I don't have an accent."

Is it like that in other parts of the world, such as England or Australia? I don't know, I've never been there.


Right, so what I'm saying is, someone speaking in TV default still has an accent. It's the US TV default accent. Seems a little like that phrase "I have no accent" which I have heard and read elsewhere really means "I don't have a clear regional/social accent". Which is probably an interesting little comment in and of itself- like, declaring one accent to be "No accent" is a reinforcement of it being "better").

And yeah I think that's pretty common in most languages/dialects - some accents are more highly valued than others. Its no different here. It was even reinforced by institutional diktats in the media about how you were supposed to speak on air. Couldn't get a job otherwise.
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01 Aug 2022 04:47 #334688 by mc
Replied by mc on topic What ACCENT are you speaking?

southernman wrote:

mc wrote: Yous all've got accents even if you say you don't.... you know that right? :lol: I feel like it's a bit of a US thing for people to say they have no accent. Maybe it's got a slightly different meaning to how I am interpreting.... but trust me.... yous all've got 'em. Might be different to those around you, something more "middle of the road" - but that's still an accent.

That NY quiz is fun. From memory it thinks I am from the North East. There's an English one too I think, which probably unsurprisingly makes me a Londoner (I think there's a school of thought that the Aus accent is like a half Irish half cockney kind of thing. Kiwi of course has much more of a Scottish influence).

Edit: Just did the quiz and it thinks I'm from Jersey, NO or NY :lol:


It says Kiwi Tom could be from Jersey City, Los Angeles, or Honolulu.

Apparently, I read somewhere, that old recordings of Victorian Brits sound most like New Zealanders.
We have some part of the Scottish accent down south because the first few ships arriving there were from Scotland, but the rest of NZ is different (mainly English ships).


Yeah my friends from Christchurch and down use "wee" as in "it's a wee bit chilly". Didn't realise it was perhaps a marker.

One word in our lexicon I only recently found out is pretty much purely Scottish and mostly used there, here and NZ is "sook". Just thought it was universal in the anglosphere. Although it has definitely been Australianified in the expression (block your ears people) "have a sook cunt".

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01 Aug 2022 12:18 #334694 by ubarose
Regarding stigma:

My college roommate went to a speech coach to lose her very distinctive Woonsocket, RI accent, because she felt (and others may have told her) that it made her sound stupid.

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01 Aug 2022 20:04 #334702 by Dr. Mabuse
As a Western Canadian actor, who has done American commercials and tv, generally, I have to remember to change my pronunciation of words such as:

our to "are" instead of "hour"
due/dew to "do" instead of "deeyou"
orange to "ar-anje" instead of "oh-ranje
fatter, butter, (-)ter to "fadder, budder' instead of hitting the ts
not to "naht" instead of "nawt"

The emphasis on hitting the consonants as written is also due to my theatre training which in turn is tied to Canadian theatre's early British roots (sans the accent). We generally have a tendency to end our sentences with an upward inflection n vs the general American tendency to use a downward inflection.

Believe it or not, there are American dialect classes offered to Canadian actors.

To be clear my brothers tease me by the way I speak.
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01 Aug 2022 20:40 #334703 by dysjunct
Fascinating, but what about “out” and “about”?
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01 Aug 2022 21:02 - 01 Aug 2022 21:13 #334704 by Dr. Mabuse

dysjunct wrote: Fascinating, but what about “out” and “about”?


That's found more in rural areas and the further East you go. You'll hear Rodney Smith (from Watch It Played) say "aoot" and "aboot" I think he's from the Maritimes. Generally speaking, of course.
Last edit: 01 Aug 2022 21:13 by Dr. Mabuse.
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02 Aug 2022 05:39 #334713 by Erik Twice
I'm from Madrid so I don't have an accent

(There's this misconception slash joke amongst people from Madrid that says we don't have an accent)
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02 Aug 2022 11:10 #334718 by Shellhead

RobertB wrote: Speaking strictly from USA experience; there's a generic accent that is basically TV default.


I grew up in Indianapolis, and the default accent there was pretty close to TV default, but the central location made for a lot of people coming and going, and those more transient folks often had southern accents. People in Indianapolis told me that I sounded like I was from Chicago. I was actually born in Minnesota, but there is a very distinct Minnesota accent that nobody would ever associate with Chicago. I moved back to Minnesota in 1991, so now I have picked up a bit of the Minnesota accent but still occasionally get told that I sound like I am from Chicago. The Minnesota accent has a Scandinavian emphasis on the vowels, drawing them out slightly. You can hear a slightly exaggerated version of the Minnesota accent in the movie Fargo, and it's a fair representation of the Northern Minnesota accent.
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02 Aug 2022 11:16 #334721 by Shellhead
I call soda pop "pop," but Indianapolis was contested territory between the pop and the coke folks. I didn't hear "soda" often until I went to IU, where many of my classmates were from the northeastern part of the U.S. They insisted that "pop" was what they called their dad, but then they also called their grandfather "peepaw," which sounds insulting. And inconsistent. Shouldn't that be peepop?

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02 Aug 2022 15:30 #334737 by RobertB

Shellhead wrote:

RobertB wrote: Speaking strictly from USA experience; there's a generic accent that is basically TV default.


I grew up in Indianapolis, and the default accent there was pretty close to TV default, but the central location made for a lot of people coming and going, and those more transient folks often had southern accents. People in Indianapolis told me that I sounded like I was from Chicago. I was actually born in Minnesota, but there is a very distinct Minnesota accent that nobody would ever associate with Chicago. I moved back to Minnesota in 1991, so now I have picked up a bit of the Minnesota accent but still occasionally get told that I sound like I am from Chicago. The Minnesota accent has a Scandinavian emphasis on the vowels, drawing them out slightly. You can hear a slightly exaggerated version of the Minnesota accent in the movie Fargo, and it's a fair representation of the Northern Minnesota accent.

I've got a coworker that grew up in/around Green Bay, and she can shift into her full-bore Wisconsin accent. Or at least it's close enough to fool us folks who've never lived there. Like I can do my fake hillbilly accent, but to get the real one back I have to be around it for a few days.

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