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Old 02-03-2011, 09:43 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
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Not sure if this was mentioned earlier in this thread or not, but-- there's not just one single Midwestern accent. It varies according to region. I can usually tell if someone is from Chicago, North Dakota, or Southern Illinois by their distinct accent. The St Louis accent is most familiar to me, being from The Lou. People here say things like "I'll warsh that dirty fark for ya." .
I think the variety of accents in America is one of the things that makes conversation interesting.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 31,730,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
Not sure if this was mentioned earlier in this thread or not, but-- there's not just one single Midwestern accent. It varies according to region. I can usually tell if someone is from Chicago, North Dakota, or Southern Illinois by their distinct accent. The St Louis accent is most familiar to me, being from The Lou. People here say things like "I'll warsh that dirty fark for ya." .
I think the variety of accents in America is one of the things that makes conversation interesting.
If I'm in Missouri, I can always pick up on what part of Mo a person is from as soon as they open their mouths.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:51 PM
 
871 posts, read 1,957,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_cat View Post
What can I say? I hear what I hear. I just don't think I've ever heard anyone say "baaaag," whether I was in the east, west, north or south. I don't see how that could possibly be standard. But whatever.
well listen more carefully, because that pronunciation is exclusive to the upper midwest.

listen at 0:17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOsLcA8F5LU

thats how its spoken in hollywood and on the news.

and ive never heard a southerner ever even come anywhere close to saying "bayg".

strangely enough, chicagoans seem to pronounce bag "big"
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_cat View Post
I have to say I'm finally beginning to understand why quizzes say I have a Midwestern accent, even though it's totally (like totally dude ) Western. Apparently both accents merge the words, but the Midwest merges them "up" while the West merges them "down."
Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian folks in the very rural parts of the northern Midwest tend to put y's before their a's: kyandy instead of simply candy, byack for back, etc.

Out here in California, the most common 'accent' is that of placing o's before a's:

Do you hove a boaks of ruacks?

I'm not native to this place, so I have no idea precisely where the accent comes from. It seems limited just to white kids, though, so who really knows.

In general, I don't believe there is much of an accent anywhere these days. Teachers are hired nationally instead of regionally, Southerners have been very earnest to dump their accents in favor of distancing themselves from stereotypes and media is more pervasive now than at any time in previous history. English was the third language I learned (and the one I hated the most). I've always been painfully sensitive to these issues.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:26 PM
 
1,495 posts, read 1,947,888 times
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Originally Posted by JimmyJohnWilson View Post
well listen more carefully, because that pronunciation is exclusive to the upper midwest.

listen at 0:17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOsLcA8F5LU

thats how its spoken in hollywood and on the news.

and ive never heard a southerner ever even come anywhere close to saying "bayg".

strangely enough, chicagoans seem to pronounce bag "big"
Just listened. It's a little ambiguous, but I can see your point. Then again, he says "becAWse" a few seconds later, so I figured that must be some east coast accent, BUT then I looked it up and apparently he's Indian-Canadian! So who knows what to make of that.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian folks in the very rural parts of the northern Midwest tend to put y's before their a's: kyandy instead of simply candy, byack for back, etc.

Out here in California, the most common 'accent' is that of placing o's before a's:

Do you hove a boaks of ruacks?
I have never heard it that way in California (that sounds like the east coast), but if you're from the upper Midwest then I understand because compared to "baaax of raaax" it probably sounds rounded, lol. Besides you'll note those are O words, not A words, lol.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:48 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Tennessee
711 posts, read 978,236 times
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I didn't realize there was a midwestern accent. Most folks in the midwest have the standard American accent, like the "newscaster accent". I suppose up north it's more Canadian sounding and in rural areas I've noticed folks sound kind of country though.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:31 AM
 
886 posts, read 1,924,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angorlee View Post
I know the midwest gets an occasional bashing but we do have a distinct accent. Anyone like it. I wanted to shred the accent years ago but now decided its as distinct as any accent from any other part of the country.

the movie Fargo had some of the accent.
With the exception of some words, I don't think the majority of the Midwest has an accent.

In Boston, NY, Minnesota, and most rural areas, that is the only time I hear accents. When I've been to Chicago, Los Angeles, Vegas, Denver, Miami (except of course the accents of latinos/haitians).. I don't hear accents.

I even spoke with a girl in Boston and commented to her that she doesn't have the Boston accent, she said when she was in school for her career they helped her learn to lose the accent to speak like the majority of Americans you hear on TV (Similar to Stephen Colbert losing his accent) for marketing. Rural Midwest will definitely have accents, but most Midwestern cities I don't think have any accent. You can't distinguish between someone from KC and LA just by their voice.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:56 AM
 
2,109 posts, read 5,136,669 times
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I guess I can't really speak since I have a Southern accent- which of course means that by default I also gets lots of stares... But I can honestly say that I cannot stand Midwestern accents. Its pretty grating sounding.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:38 PM
 
1,495 posts, read 1,947,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sliverbox View Post
I guess I can't really speak since I have a Southern accent- which of course means that by default I also gets lots of stares... But I can honestly say that I cannot stand Midwestern accents. Its pretty grating sounding.
Grating is a good description. Some of us like it that way. Personally I find twangy (like Nashville) or squawky (like NYC) voices to be kind of annoying. Old-time Southern accents like in Richmond or Charleston are actually pretty nice, though not my favorite. I prefer crisp, flat and dry.
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