|What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)
You’re not Northern, Southern, or Western, you’re just plain -American-. Your national identity is more important than your local identity, because you don’t really have a local identity. You might be from the region in that map, which is defined by this kind of accent, but you could easily not be. Or maybe you just moved around a lot growing up.
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7 thoughts on “Yes, I am from Southern California of Midwestern ancestry.”
Same here, but it has that damn “Mary, Merry, Marry” question and none of the answers ever match the way perfectly sensible and normal people like me say them.
Mary and Marry are exactly the same (with the ‘a’ having the same sound as in ‘bat’) and can only be distinguished by context. Merry sounds like ‘meh-ree’.
The other options are all absurd.
Pegged me, too
I’m squarely in the St. Louis yellow there but Cincy, Columbus and Pittsburgh have serious accents so it’s a very, very general quiz. I suppose they could narrow it down to region with a few questions. Still, a fun quiz. 🙂
Well I seem to be from everywhere or nowhere.
But I do want to thank you folks from the midwest that traveled on out to California, for not stopping in Colorado.
JakeInHartselIn the middle of South Park
More on everywhere and nowhere. Although I was born in Colorado, part of my growing up was in Minnesota and in my working life I have lived in Colorado, Alaska, California, Texas, Maryland, Spain, Alabama, and France and I did my Army time in Germany.
So I guess that qualifies as all over.
Neutral? Shit, these folks have never been to southern Indiana, y’all.
What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)
Western is kind of neutral, but not quite since it’s still possible to tell where you’re from. So you might not actually be from the West (but you probably are). If you really want to sound “neutral,” learn how to say “stock” and “stalk” differently.
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But this doesn’t explain why people often think I’m from “somewhere else.” I’ve had people spontaneously ask if I’m from England, if I’m Southern, and even ask if I’m from Connecticut because they think I sound like Katharine Hepburn. They’re always a little miffed when I tell them I was born just a few miles away.
I think they forgot a biggie: whether “log file” and “lock file” have the same first vowel. But speaking of fine distinctions:
That quiz way over-emphasizes the whole issue
of aw/ah — and that’s a problem, because there’s lots of dialects (like mine) where it comes down to
making the call between ah being steady [ɑ], verses a subtly complex diphthong that starts very slightly to one side of [ɑ], spends most of its time there, and goes a bit past it on the way out. Even on an acoustic spectrogram, the difference is so faint. (Although there are dialects
where there’s just no missing it.)
And speaking of which: I did a passable amount of staring at, and zooming in on, and playing 10-millisecond snippets of
<a href= "http://cslu.cse.ogi.edu/tutordemos/SpectrogramReading/spectrogram.html"
>acoustic spectrograms in <a href=
>grad school; and I was constantly surprised by
how a person could have a feature
of their speech (such as their stop consonants not
being totally abrupt closures) that was plain
as day on an acoustic spectrograph, all over
the place, and was quite audible
if you played only this or that 70ms clip, but
which neither I nor they could manage to hear,
with even careful listening, as they were talking.
Other meager grad school achievements:
* Also I learned that you can get get three people from the same dialect group that sound quite alike to the, uh, naked ear; but the acoustic spectrogram will show, for each speaker, at least one fine-grain peculiarity. Is it dialectal? Is it idiosyncratic? Or maybe what was thought to be their big common dialect is actually five littler ones, distinguished by these tiny features.
* Finally, I learned to get really good at being able to tightly edit audio, when need be. I.e., you can edit right up to a voiceless stop consonant (p/t/k etc), versus an ‘m’ or an ‘n’ that will require more time on each side; and if you don’t have clear audio, the f/s/th/sh distinctions might go out the window. The listeners will adapt, but it’ll give them a headache.
Think bad AM radio.
And therefore: crappy, grifty long-distance carriers that drop the signal totally flat until 50ms after they hear you starting a word, are just plain horrible. That more-than-tightly edits all these crucial phonetic distinctions, until you’re barely hearing anything more than a stream of slurred vowels. This is to say nothing of the all-around awful audio quality you get on conference calls.
And the fact that telephone audio quality is generally moving backwards in time is <a href=
>reason number 21 that I want to destroy the world.