A Musing on Accents
This isn’t political or religious, just something I’ve thought about today. So once again I’m going to put on my “it’s my blog I do what I want” hat and talk about something completely off topic.
Accents are quite an interesting concept to think about. I grew up in South Dakota, West River (we pronounce it westriver, south dako-ta) to be exact. A couple of years ago, I moved to Nebraska. It’s still the western side of the state, and I live so close to the South Dakota border that the ISP town detectors claim I live in “Chadron, South Dakota.” The strange thing is the massive difference in dialect and accent between the two.
Before I moved, no one ever said I had an accent of any kind. I refused to refer to carbonated beverages as “soda” instead of “pop.” And I talked at a speed which my family could understand. Then, I moved to Nebraska, land of…well…wind, cows, and corn. Immediately people started telling me I had a slight southern accent (still do when I’m not paying attention or am excited so…a lot). I’ve been here three years and now “pop” is “soda” and I can’t even seem to force myself to say “pop” anymore (believe me, I’ve tried). When I call my parents (because I am a good only child like that) or go home to visit, I keep having to be told to slow down so they can understand me. My fiancé says that when I come back from a trip to my folks I sound like a Texan (I don’t hear it). Hell, it wasn’t until I moved here that I noticed that I pronounce my name as “Mahcole” (though admittedly not that extreme) instead of Michael. I hear less “warsh”es here than I did in SD, and am told that “roof” is not “ruf” nor is “root” “rut.” Oddly enough I even manage to mess up “boot” though, fortunately it becomes “bewt” instead of “but.” People originally from here say it the way I’m (again) told is General American so… accent-less by technicality.
I guess, the point I’m trying to make amidst my incoherent rambling today is that such a short distance (in this case I live approx 60 miles from where I grew up) can make a HUGE dialogue/accent difference. And it’s rather strange.
P.S. Don’t ask me to differentiate between Supper and Dinner. I have no freaking clue which is which.