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Old 12-31-2012, 04:17 AM
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,577,372 times
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There was a scene in The West Wing where they were doing a telephone poll, and someone said to make sure only no accent Iowans were doing the calling. Tried but couldn't find the clip on YouTube.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:57 AM
Location: Jonesboro
3,617 posts, read 3,556,956 times
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Many years ago, among the Speech classes I took at Iowa State, was one where we discussed not only regional accents found across the U.S., but also the variety of what was heard within the confines of Iowa.
To make a long story short, after that class I began to see a correlation between the speech patterns & sounds of my fellow students & their Iowa hometowns.
I.E.: My Dubuque & Waukon area friends, and even a few from Cedar Rapids, had many sounds & habits that identified them as from east central & northeast Iowa. They reminded me of what I heard from my Wisconsin & Illinois relatives & friends. Often their vowels were flattened somewhat & from them I heard phrases like, "You's guys."
When I was at Iowa State, my own family relocated from north central Iowa where I grew up surrounded by abundant Minnesota & Scandinavian vocal sounds. My parents resettled in Newton where we were amazed by the new sounds we heard there, as in "feesh" & "deeshes" for fish & dishes & "booshes" for bushes. It turns out that the 1920's & post WW2 job booms at Maytag in Newton had filled the city with an influx of southern Iowans & northern Missourians who brought their somewhat more southern accents with them.
And of course the western side of the state had it's own variations on what we Iowans called "normal."
I've lived in Atlanta for well over 30 years but still remember calling MCI in the 1990's on a business matter. It turns out that the MCI rep said that she was at a company facility in Iowa City.
After concluding my business with the young lady, I mentioned to her that when she spoke she reminded me of a friend of mine from Coon Rapids, Ia. She excitedly spoke up and said, "I'm from Carroll originally!" Carroll is of course the county seat of Carroll County, the location of Coon Rapids.
So, if you start listening for it amongst your fellow Iowans, you will hear more than perhaps originally meets the ear in that "normal" pattern of speech.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:52 PM
48 posts, read 101,486 times
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In general, there is a reason so many call centers used to be in Iowa.

We aren't as "'sconson" as Minnesota or "missoura" as Missouri.

Like atler above me, I've had some experience with speech pathology, but for the most part, when you get that technical, it relies on the listener, not the speaker; you have to have an ear to notice it.

I know, for example, that highway 20 that bisects the state was a dialect-line, but in my experience, the difference is far more regional and person-dependent. Down south (again, I'm going to agree with other posters and guess the south 1/4) out are more likely to run into what you would consider "hick" --even more than western Iowa-- and in the north-east corner, you start to run into the norsey rounded words we in Iowa tend to associate with Minnesota and Wisconson (Yah! You betcha!) Even then, it's rarely a shift too far from neutral. One thing you may see more is that Iowans tend to be homogeneous rurally and pretty diverse in the cities, which would accentuate any dialect differences.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:30 PM
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,243 posts, read 17,635,491 times
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I'll echo those who have stated that folks in the lower part of the state - say, around Highway 34 on south - tend to have a Missouri twang to their voices, and those above about Highway 20 sound a little like the "nord'ners."

Those in between tend to have that unaccented accent people associate with the Midwest in general, but of course that area includes most of the state's population centers so there is quite a bit of diversity as someone said.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:04 PM
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
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I dont really notice anything different, but I do when I hear someone from Southern Iowa.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:32 PM
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,641,554 times
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I'm from Michigan originally and when I last visited Iowa, no one thought I sounded different, and I didn't hear differences among the natives. I live in Ohio now, and I can tell someone from Southern Ohio or over near WV. My Michigan friends said I've picked up an Ohio accent, but I think they're kidding me.

Southern OH accent: cash is pronounced KAY-shhh.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:41 PM
Location: North Dakota
8,190 posts, read 9,891,272 times
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Iowa is considered to have one of the most "neutral" accents around.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:20 PM
135 posts, read 506,122 times
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I grew up in Sioux City (NW Iowa) and words like Krik (for creek) and Warsh (for wash) were not uncommon
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:52 PM
1,649 posts, read 2,359,252 times
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I never noticed any type of Iowa accent when I moved here from the West coast.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:11 PM
130 posts, read 319,582 times
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North 1/3 sound like Minnesota. Middle third sound like news anchors. Southern third sounds southern.
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