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.

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About schwarherz

My name is Schwarherz, and I'll be your server tonight. The special is Truth with a side of Sarcasm. You want pandering? Sorry we're fresh out. What's that? Have I found Jesus? Why yes I have, turns out he and Thor were playing Hide and Seek and Thor was "It." Can you blame the guy for hiding well? I mean, last time they played there was a nasty incident involving a Cross, Mjölnir, and some nails... P.S. For those of you who speak/read German; yes, I know my name is misspelled. It's done intentionally and symbolically.

2 responses to “A Musing on Accents”

  1. The Sigil Witch says :

    Having family from Tennessee and living there for three years, I completely understand ^_^

  2. essemee says :

    I can relate…Ontario to Alberta isn’t a world away in language, but among transplants and natives there are still heated debates over whether to take a particular “root” or a certain “rowt”, and whether to park your car in a “garage” or a “gradge”,
    When I friend’s aunt moved to Nebraska from Minnesota, she had a hard time convincing a concession stand employee that she was not asking for drugs, she just wanted some pop.

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