I'm from Long Island, or "lawn-guyland" if you have an accent. I don't really have one (unless I get angry) and I wonder what gives. Some people from my hometown (a beach town on the north shore) have New Yawk accents, and some don't. I am now aware of consciously trying to get rid of an accent, I just never had it. Does this happen in other parts of the country, like the South? Why do some people pick up accents while others speak without them?
Meant to say "I am not aware of consciously trying to get rid of an accent."
Yes. And I hate the way I talk English even though other people usually find it cute. Thank God I don't sound "German".
Texas twang here.
Backwoods Arkansas here. I've done my best to disguise it with a neutral Midwestern accent since I became aware of it around age 12 (pencil-dialing Mary!). It comes out now when I'm tired, which is ever more often now that I'm middle-aged.
No, but everyone else does.
I grew up in NJ, but have repeatedly gotten people (mostly foreigners) asking if I'm British. It's really odd as I speak with nothing even remotely resembling a British accent. From what I gather, I speak with a Tim Gunn-like "intonation" that makes some people think I'm not from the US originally. Personally, I don't hear it at all, but I like the way Tim Gunn sounds, so I guess I'll take it.
I'm also from Northern Nassau County and I only have an accent when I am talking to people that have them too... but when I am away and I tell people where I am from they always comment that I have no accent. I guess maybe it helps that I lived in Wisconsin and Louisiana when I was in college/grad school.
[quote]I'm also from Northern Nassau County.
It is odd. My mother, from Sea
Cliff, didn't have an accent, my dad, from Brooklyn and the Catskills, doesnt. My sister and brother don't. But my brother and I get mad, watch out. The Bronx Honk comes out. I think it's based on the theory that, like some species of wildlife, when you're under attack you puff yourself up to make yourself appear larger to predators. My brother got into a road rage argument with someone who said to him, "Why don't you take your Brooklyn accent, get in your car, and go home!"
I'm from Brooklyn (Bay Ridge) and don't have any New York accent at all. A common tendency is to assume I am from the midwest (which has come from both New Yorkers and midwesterners).
I don't know why. Both my parents and two of my brothers have thick, stereotypical New York Italian accents. My sister and I don't have any trace of New York in our voices at all.
It's joked about in the family, but we have absolutely no explanation that makes sense.
I grew up without developing much of a regional accent. I have a southern twang come out on some words but in general it is standard American English.
My partner is from LI and his accent isn't nearly as pronounced as the rest of his family who still live there. He moved away from there 10 years ago and is the only one in the family with a masters/PhD so I'm thinking his level of education has something to do with it. His brother works a blue collar job and has the total Lawn Guyland thing going on.
What's fascinating to me is southerners who grow up with one accent (usually "harder" R sounds) and then suddenly develop that terribly affected "dollah, mothah" accent that doesn't use R sounds at all.
I do like the southern soft O sound, though.
R6, same situation here. I have for years been asked where I was raised (central CA). When I tell them, they ask where I was born (Saudi Arabia, oddly enough) then tell me that I sound British. Sure, I've been there a number of times but that give me the accent. Just a couple of weeks ago a group of us were up in Tahoe and the conversation between me a couple of the other guys went down that road. I was told that I sounded English or sophisticated (first time that was said). Perhaps I speak proper English more so then them, who knows. I suppose I should take it as a compliment but I just don't get it...
R12 I've only met one woman who has the natural soft O sound and she was from New Orleans but it was not nearly as obvious as the movies make it out to be. Much more subtle. We have one fake southern belle here in the neighborhood who really puts on a fake southern accent. Much too thick to be real. She sounds as bad as the gals in Steel Magnolia.
It's flat Midwestern. A coworker from Boston told me I had no fucking accent. We got along fine.
[quote]I grew up in NJ, but have repeatedly gotten people (mostly foreigners) asking if I'm British.
It's pretty difficult to accurately place an accent if English isn't your first language.
I sometimes don't even notice if someone speaks with an accent and I could never place it. Unless they speak like Paula Deen but even with her I only know she's from the south.
Paula Deen totally plays up that accent.
OP = moron, judging from his title.
I'm from the upper midwest and don't have much of that accent. Vocally, I'm more Leave it to Beaver than Fargo.
One's socialization - exposure to family, friends, and all matter of all figures from popular cultural and their respective vocal inflections, and what one is socialized to believe is cool and wants to emulate - influences one's learned vocal patterns.
I've mentioned this before, but the fiancé of a friend of mine knew the Deens when he was growing up in Albany, Georgia, and Paula sounded nothing like she does now.
Even in her old episodes of [italic]Paula's Home Cooking,[/italic] her accent isn't nearly as slopped-on as it is today.
[quote]OP = moron, judging from his title.
Hey, who the ____ you think you're tawkin to he-ah! I'll bust you in your f_____ nose you tawk to me like dat one more time A________ !!!
(Pls read with a heavy Brooklyn accent.)
I was born in England and spent my first few years there and then moved to the U.S. My father is primarily of English and Spanish descent and my mother Italian. In the U.S., I get the "Are you English (or British)?" thing quite often also. I don't hear it, personally, but then I know English accents to some degree and travel there often. Brits don't often think I'm a Brit though. I do still say a few words with an "English" accent, for example double t words (button, cotton). I also stammer although not as often as when a kid, which added to confusion. One of my friends put it best by saying I have a "mid-Atlantic" accent like in old American films.
In short, I'm an American Anthony Blanche.
Former yinzer here (Pittsburgh) and I find that most accents in western PA seen to be a product of education/socio-economic status. I do love a good 'burgh accent though and can sometimes pull one off after a few IC Lights.
[quote]One's socialization - exposure to family, friends, and all matter of all figures from popular cultural and their respective vocal inflections, and what one is socialized to believe is cool and wants to emulate - influences one's learned vocal patterns.
This makes sense. Even though I speak with a flat Eastern Seaboard accent, I can imitate accents really well. I've always been a people-watcher. BTW, people really hate it when you fall into imitating their accent while they're talking with you.
"I've always been a people-watcher. BTW, people really hate it when you fall into imitating their accent while they're talking with you."
Yes, they do. Especially when it's an accent they've tried so desperately to shed, like R4.
R21, it's so funny you mention Albany, GA. I grew up there too.
Albany ("All-BINN-ee" as the locals pronounce it) has a fairly specific accent.
The writer Anne Rivers Siddons calls it the accent of the "wiregrass south."
Which is her way of saying it isn't a very pretty accent, I guess.
Lots of hard Rs.
I've lived in Southern California for 29 years, and people still ask about my accent. I'm from Boston. My accent has diminished, but I guess It's still there although I'm not really aware of it.
The Wiregrass accent is also heard in southeast Alabama (Dothan, y'all) and parts of the Florida Panhandle.
New. New, Iv curse I dew nit hiv in iccint. Ixcewz mi, now, pliz.
As someone who speaks with a standard US accent, I've wondered (1) if people in the dialect areas of the country perceive it as an accent or simply the lack of one and (2) if foreign language-speakers can detect the difference. (I've lived overseas and can't believe the question never came up.)
I have a light southern drawl(I live in SE Oklahoma). When I travel out of the south, people tend to find it amusing, and sometimes charming. A lot of people ask where I'm from. I don't know why it's so interesting to them.
I can lose it completely when I want to.
All my friends say I have a heavy accent but my gran says I sound like a bloody yank. AHAHAHA
I'm in the same boat as R37. Loath as I am to admit it, I have developed a slight drawl after living in Oklahoma all these years. I can, however, minimize it when I focus on clipping my vowels instead of elongating them.
Upstate NY, specifically western NYState has a really nasal dialect. I was teased about it a lot @ SUNY Purchase many years ago. When I moved to Manhattan, I tried to sound New Yawk, but then realized that a more neutral way of speaking was the way to go. Dialects have become less apparent as the years go by, especially in NYC.
I am from Texas and in my natural state, I sound it.
Now that I live in New England, I try to tone it way down, since it apparently makes everyone think I'm a moron.
I'm Australian, Sydney born and raised, yet lack the stereotypical nasal flat voweled accent. Its closer to a British accent I suppose. People ask me at least once a week where I'm from. I put it down to having educated parents.
R43, do you think you sound like a rube, a well-scrubbed hustling rube with a little taste?
Trust me, OP you do, oh yes, you do.
Every NYer claims they don't have an accent and don't sound like ''them''. Record yourself speaking listen and be prepared for quite the shock.
From Long Island too and none of my friends have that cliched accent either. I think they are Bronx/Brooklyn translplants.
I live in a shack on Long Island and everyone says I sound just like Cousinn Jackie!
LOL... I love R45.
Yeeeees ah do, sugah.
I was born and raised on Long Island's north fork. In the city (NYC, of course) I constantly hear about my Boston accent. In Boston I get asked where I grew up on the Cape. On the Cape, it's assumed I'm from the Vineyard. On the other hand, I've had people from Nantucket assume I'm from the Vineyard. No one has ever guessed Long Island.
Yes, I have the traditional Charleston drawl. R43, I too live in NE, but people seem to love my accent. I'm just thankful that I do not sound like a Bostonian, for it such an unromantic dialect.
I find the Bostonian accent hilarious... but not hot, I agree. But when they start going on about the fackin pahkin ticket they got from dah retahdid Hahvid Depaahtmint of Pahhks'n Reecreeation or whatever they make me laugh so much.
There are actually three distinct Boston accents of which I'm aware, and they are based on ethnic origin. They are Irish, Italian and English (Brahmin). The first two are very similar and the last is dying out.
Like R24 I'm from Pittsburgh. I don't have much of the accent now, though.
I used to work for the phone company and got very good at telling the subtle differences between different accents. NYC and NJ accents are similar but slightly different. Philly is also similar but then Philly/Baltimore sound alike.
I've also been around the serious Minnesota/Wisconsin accent.
Most accurate Bronx accent ever was in the movie Billy Bathgate. It's very distinct from Brooklyn.
I have lived in the Metro-DC area (southern Maryland) most of my life and do not have an accent, nor do most of the people I've met or interacted with (mainly mid-Atlantic suburbanites). I sometimes wish I had a distinctive regional dialect because I think that the All-American Inland style accent that's ubiquitous on TV has influenced and homogenized much of the US over the last few decades.
I once had a teacher who was American bred/born/raised but had intentionally adopted a haughty English accent and used it at all times. If you asked him "why do you sound like Henry Higgins when you're from South Carolina?" he'd act affronted and exclaim "wHat accent? I don't have an accent! wHat are you talking about?"
Is it true that many of New York's original neighborhoods are losing their defining accents (think Gary and Penny Marshall)? I heard Sarah Jessica Parker mention this on Kelly.
How do you tell Bronx from Brooklyn from Queens from North Jersey?
Dees dems en doze.
I'm from Kentucky, and I have a really pronounced "hick" accent, and it gets more pronounced as I get more relaxed with someone. Not sexy southern, but white trash full-blown, uneducated hick Loretta Lynn "Coal Miner's Daughter" accent, despite the fact I'm a highly educated, well-read Engineer who pulls a 6-figure salary.
It doesn't bother me, but it does irritate me that every Yankee I've ever met assumes I'm an idiot the moment I open my mouth. I've worked with lots of different people over from all over the world over the years, but Yankees are the worst when it comes to type-casting you if you have a "certain accent".
R60: You're damn sure right about that one. Those Yankees are always looking down on us southerners, especially the transplants. When I go back home to visit family in Charleston, I encounter these condescending Yankees everywhere. I wish they'd just leave their snotty attitudes up north. The heathens make my blood boil.
R60, I too am a techie with a near six figure salary and (always white) people up north tend to think my accent means I'm stupid.
They also seem terrified of southern terms of endearment. That one was a hard habit to break, sugarface.
I find native Marylanders have quite a distinct accent.
It sets my teeth on edge. It's very "rough" sounding and not at all pretty.
Lots of "dese, dem, doses," too-- along with that obnoxious "ew" sound in place of "oh."
No, I don't have an accent, but I do annunciate impecably.
Everyone had an accent.
Well, at least she sings and dances impecably, some say anyway.
All you people Up East tawk funny.
I speak the Queen's English
By the way, Leopold, I never left. I do remember you saying that you were going to leave off harassing me...
The Baltimore, Philly, and Pittsburgh accents intrigue me -- they're Northern and Southern at the same time.
People speaking to me on the phone cannot tell if it's a New York or a Boston accent I have.
I come from right smack in between the two so speech patterns reflect that.
Of course the most pronounced feature is the dropped 'r'. I've been cured of that for many years now but every now and then, when circumstances permit I drop an 'r' here and there.
Born in and still live in Bklyn, NY. I know that I have a slight New Yawk accent; when I was in Virginia on vacation, a cashier in a store made a comment about my accent.
On the other hand, a woman once asked me if I was from Calif - said I had a Valley Girl accent. Huh?
I am a Lesbian who has a Paula Prentiss thing going on accent and voice wise. Such a thing I have been told for many years now.
I know if I had a Kristen Chenoweth sounding voice that people would think me stupid.
With Southern accents, men have it worse. There is a stereotype with that. Ladies have it easier as long as they do not have Kristen Chenoweth voice.
I love Kristen Chenoweth, btw.
[quote] Perhaps I speak proper English more so then them,
It's "than they do," not "then them."
I hate Connecticut accents
I haven't encountered anyone, besides Americans, who thinks they don't have an accent
I grew up in Minnesota, a second-generation Norwegian-American. I had the whole, thick stereotypical Minnesooooohta thing going on. I moved away about 10 years ago and because of my job I've lived all over the world. I made a very concerted effort to get rid of my accent because people would tease me about it.
Now, over a decade later, I find myself wishing I had my old accent back. I do slightly slip into it now and again, but I do not have it in my normal every day speech (at least that's what people tell me). It doesn't feel natural to me anymore, so I'm not sure I'll get it back again (I still don't live in MN).
I'm now living in the south with an English partner. We have two children and they have an Ecuadorian nanny who only speaks Spanish to them.
I am curious what my children will sound like with the Minnesota/English/Spanish/Southern influence they will have.
r62, anyone who uses the term "Yankees" (baseball team is an exception) the way you do is an obviously annoying turd who deserves whatever criticism he's been getting.
What's the New England accent where they say Gwad instead of God and kwatter instead of quarter?
Connecticut river? It's grating at a level equal to Long Island and Philadelphia.
Yankee accents are godawful!
Hicks like r82 are godawful!
Oh, please, R80. If you think the word "Yankee" isn't in general usage in the South (derisive, usually), you're as thick as your obnoxious Lawn Guyland accent.
Yes, and I wonder if I can really unlearn it without it sounding like an affectation. I grew up on Long Island too, in Levittown. I don't pronounce it Lawn Guyland though, the only time I hear that is from Jewish old ladies.
But I inherited my mother's working class Brooklyn accent, which I guess morphed into something slightly different but unique to Long Island.
For example, I don't pronounce the word 'bag' like "bAHg". Instead, it comes out as "bEHg". 'Coffee' comes out a bit like "kawfee" but that's one I try to suppress when possible, hehe.
I work in a prestigious hospital in NYC and I think my speech is very noticeable and I suspect people make assumptions of my intellect and abilities based on it. But whaddaya gonna do? If I start changing my pronunciation (assuming I remember to even use the correct pronunciation) it will sound fake to people who know me.
I'm originally from northern Wisconsin and would say that I have the typical Midwestern accent that sounds like nothing. When I was living in L.A., though, people could hardly tell where I was from except for when I said a few certain words, and then they thought I was Canadian! Apparently, when I say "house" it sounds like "hoos," when I say "about" it sounds like "aboot," when I say "roof" it sounds like "rough," and when I say "no" it sounds slightly like "new." I guess Wisconsin and Canada aren't that far apart but still, it was surprising to hear.
Scottish accent here
[quote]Oh, please, [R80]. If you think the word "Yankee" isn't in general usage in the South (derisive, usually), you're as thick as your obnoxious Lawn Guyland accent.
Speaking of thick, you seemed to miss the obvious point that that idiotic derisive usuage you're talking about is what was being criticised. Hicks in the south say "yankees" the same way they say "nigras."
I've been told I sound like a black Fran Drescher.
I'm born and raised in Staten Island and had an obnoxious, New York Italian accent. Eventually, from interacting with people (mostly actors) in Manhattan, and taking speech classes when studying acting, it went away. Rather quickly, actually. Now it only comes back if I'm arguing, or if I'm talking to old friends it will creep up...
Born and raised in South Florida, no accent. Might be a different story if I was from North Florida.
Southern accent. It has faded quite a bit since I moved away from the South 20 years ago. Apparently, it is still quite thick, as people ask me every day, "where are you from?"
92 posts and no one has had the guts to post an example of their accent? Come on, it would be fun.
South Flarrda most certainly has an accent.
The Florida accent is also known as "Standard Trailer Park".
Idiot R8, if you think an outdated word like "nigras" is used in the South or anywhere else as often as "Yankee", you're too dumb to be on this or any other thread.
Hey R8, who you callin' an idjut? You must have me mixed up with someone else...
I took the test upstring and it says I have a "northeastern" accent.
I say "cahfee" but I also say "tawk"
I am one who also finds the Massachussetts accent really sexy. I don't know why. Maybe cuz I had a crush on some kid from MA a long time ago. And any southern accent is sexy to me. I melt. I don't know why anyone would suppress it.
Have you ever heard a femmy guy with a Lawn Guymand accent? It's something to behold. Truly awful, especially if he's like my new coworker who DOES NOT STOP talking about inane shit like how fabulous his life is. He's in his early 20s so maybe I should give him a break but I just want him to please stop talking at all times.
Femmy is fine. LI is fine. Together? Death.
My cat is from Long Island and has a very pronounced accent, especially when he purrs.
My sister-in-law is from Long Island and has no accent whatsoever. Her middle sister has a very heavy LI accent and the youngest sister has Larchmount Lockjaw. Very odd since they grew up in the same house and went to the same schools.
Everyone has an accent.
I'm in the South and never use yankees or nigras.
All my friends say i have an accent when i start yelling or get surprised. I've never noticed this but they say i sound very asian. I've lived in America my whole life and barely know any other language besides a little Laos.
My friends say I have a very cultured upper-class accent.
Girls, girls, girls!!
You ALL sound just awful.
To tell the truth, there are very minute differences in the way I hear Americans.
I can tell if someone is from the South quite easily.
I picked a guy having a Texan accent on Saturday night quite easily. He was a bit miffed, as if it was meant to be some big mystery.
Northern Americans all sound the same. I have been friends with Americans from the mid-west, Minnesota. California, Long Island etc etc (English teacher in Asia) and you really can't tell them apart. In fact, most other English speakers really can't tell the difference between Canadians and Americans when they speak.
It takes a very strange accent to stick out.
I've worked at Bloomingdales for a while now and I'm starting to sound like what Grammy Hall calls a real Jew.
Do Michigan people have accents?
When I was a kid in Brooklyn (circa 1960s - 70s) all my classmates had a Brooklyn accent. Now though I notice that the mostly Russian kids who live around here, though born here in Brooklyn of Russian parents and grandparents with an accent speak unaccented English and no one could ever tell where they come from other than the USA. I always heard that kids tend to pick up an accent from their families but these Russian kids prove that to be untrue.