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Southern accents & the Northeast

Connemara

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OK, so I've recently (past 3 months or so) met two people with very mild accents. One is from Cincinnati, one is from Kentucky. We got into discussing accents one day and the person from Cincy said "I'm going to take some of those accent-normalizing classes before I moved to NYC." When I asked why, she said that no one in NYC would give her a job because she sounded dumb.

I heard about the same thing from the Kentucky guy.

Is this common? Kind of weirded me out.
 

Stazy

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Pretty much all immigrants, French speaking Canadians, and people from the Atlantic provinces have to take accent-normalizing classes if they want to be employed in western Canada.
 

crazyquik

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There's no chance of "normalizing"
this accent


It definently exists, and I find it very sad. I think it's great that Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Charleston SC, Wasilla, Texas, Appalachia, Alabama, etc used to all sound different. We pretend we're a country that can look past the color of people's skin, but we can't even look past the way each other pronouce vowels.

I blame radio, television, movies, and other mass communications. Supposedly a "flattening" in accents is happening in England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland too.
 

fredfred

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For some people in NYC, they'll hear the southern accents and think someone is "dumb" (to use your term). Part of it is because they talk slower, too. "West Wing" is a TV show that capitalized on the speed talking. When people talk fast, others think they are smarter. The speed on that show was maybe 20% faster (?). (That also meant they had to write more material for each show).

A mid-western accent is closer to "normal" - and is what national news anchors stive to acheive. So I'm not sure what an Ohio (cincy) accent would need. But Kentucky, definitely.
 

Milhouse

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Growing up in Chicago I had a bit of a Chicago style accent. After moving around a bit, I dropped the Chicago style and quickly adapted to the newscaster/normalized/Midwest/neutral/whatever else I hear it called accent.

Yes, I have heard people question someone's intelligence behind their back because that person spoke slowly and was from the South.

I've never heard of classes, but I'm not surprised. No one can really tell where I'm from and that can be advantageous (meaning no one in the US can tell where I'm from).
 

Egdon Heath

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Originally Posted by Milhouse
.
Yes, I have heard people question someone's intelligence behind their back because that person spoke slowly and was from the South.​
Don't think it's the slowness that's objectionable, it's more the cadence and the awkwardness of extra syllables and the like, at least in the land-locked southern states. Think Reba McEntire.
(But what do I know, I's from Maine.)​
 

Gravitas

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The area I am at in the NE is pretty accent neutral. While there are several mispronounced words by people of the area, I go by the standard pronunciation, so I think i'm good.
Accents are for freaks. 'cept for the English that is.
 

tlmusic

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Originally Posted by fredfred
A mid-western accent is closer to "normal" - and is what national news anchors stive to acheive. So I'm not sure what an Ohio (cincy) accent would need. But Kentucky, definitely.

Downtown Cincinnati is right across the river from Kentucky. Southern Ohio has its own unique blend of Midwestern and Southern accents.
 

jpeirpont

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*****wrong Thread*******
 

FLMountainMan

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I met a guy once and after introductions, I said "oh, you must be from Cleveland." He asked how I knew and I told him it was because of his accent. "No," he said, "people fro Ohio don't have accents." I just laughed. I think accents are great. Think of all they different ways people say water. Whether it's WAH-tuh in Alabama, Wad-der in Florida, Wha-tuh in NYC, etc.... It's funny to me.
And all the regional words, like "catty-wampus", "ja'll", "halfback", "Geechee" - I think the diversity is great.
 

Connemara

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Originally Posted by FLMountainMan
I met a guy once and after introductions, I said "oh, you must be from Cleveland." He asked how I knew and I told him it was because of his accent. "No," he said, "people fro Ohio don't have accents." I just laughed. I think accents are great. Think of all they different ways people say water. Whether it's WAH-tuh in Alabama, Wad-der in Florida, Wha-tuh in NYC, etc.... It's funny to me. And all the regional words, like "catty-wampus", "ja'll", "halfback", "Geechee" - I think the diversity is great.
The NYC accent is sort of a myth. I think there are borough-specific accents though.
 

SoCal2NYC

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I cannot take anyone with a Southern accent seriously.
 

jpeirpont

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Originally Posted by Connemara
The NYC accent is sort of a myth. I think there are borough-specific accents though.

Even the BK accent seems to be dying.
 

Connemara

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Originally Posted by jpeirpont
Even the BK accent seems to be dying.
Yeah, I think it is. NY sports bring out the best in NYC accents. Everytime I'm at a Giants game and the few times I've gone to a Mets game (sort of got sick of watching them lose
) I'm near a guy with a thick-as-a-brick Brooklyn accent.
 

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