Monday, November 06, 2006

American Accents

Via Note of the Living Deb, there is a quiz here to determine what (American) accent you have. It's tricky to answer the questions correctly because sometimes your idea of what is right conflicts with how you actually speak. I tried my best to tell by using the words in real sentences.

Anyway, my results:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The Inland North
The West
The Northeast
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Go take it and let me know what you get!


Mosch said...

I was gonna copy my results here, but it won't let me copy that part of the page. Never ran into that before. How did you do it?

Tam said...

I copied the HTML code from the box to the right of the actual results. The box says something like "copy and paste this to display these results." I'm not sure how much HTML these comments take, though - probably not enough. So just report in words what you got, if you like :)

sally said...

As I blathered on about at some length on Debbie's blog, I have a Midland accent (the red bar covers over 13/14 of the space on my results).

It's interesting how little difference it made that I grew up in Oklahoma; I guess by age 5 1/2, the accent I picked up living in Nebraska and Colorado [note: Caw-lu-RA-do] with Midwestern parents was pretty much set in place. Of course, I think if I moved to Indiana or something, people could tell that I've spent some time in the south, but my accent really doesn't scream Okie.

And of course, unlike Tam, I didn't have any difficulty answering the questions. All those words are OBVIOUSLY pronounced identically, people. Well, except for pen/pin and feel/fill, which would just be too silly to believe.

I was with Robert when he took this test and the Dawn/Don thing was particularly amusing - as with many of the pairs, he pronounces the two words distinctly differently and he commented that I had confused him recently with this talk of my co-worker that I kept calling Don but later referred to as a woman. He had to do this mental "oh, she means *Dawn*" thing to make sense of it. Well of course I meant Dawn; that's what I said.

Tam said...

Mosch always confuses me because he knows several women named Laura or Lora, and he says both of these, to my ears, like "Lora."

For a long time I assumed he talked this way, so I assumed the "Lora" he always referred to was really a "Laura", but she turned out to be really "Lora" after all. Then the second one showed up, and I assumed she must be "Lora" too, but she's actually "Laura."

I have an Aunt Laura, and that side of my family has a heavy southern accent that makes it a very distinct "law-ra". Mine is not that distinct.

It's funny that we both got Midland, Sally, considering that we differ on many of these specifics. Most of those word pairs are pronounced differently for me with the notable exception of pen/pin and possibly even feel/fill, though I denied pronouncing those the same way on the survey.

Mosch said...

No surprise, I got Northeast, with a warning about being accused of being from New York.

If I remember the quiz correctly, I differentiated between sounds in every single instance that was possible, including "not either one" when that was an option.

Mosch said...

The thing about Laura-Lora may be specific to me alone. Karen, Lora's cousin, got a dog she named Mora or Mara, and I hated that she did that considering her cousin's name. So I say Mahra and Lawra so that they sound as different as possible.

rvman said...

This quiz does a singularly lousy job of detecting a Texas accent. It declared me either 'Midland' or 'North Midland'. It appears it puts a lot of weight on 'pen' vs. 'pin' for southern speech. Unfortunately, it thinks southerners say them the same. To a northern ear, they ARE the same. Texans can hear the difference. ('Pen' sounds like 'pin' in Texas, 'pay-in' further southeast, while 'pin' sounds like 'peen' or 'pee-in', at least to my ear.)

rvman said...

Were I to encounter the name 'Lora' I would assume it is the same as 'Laura'. 'Laura' and 'Nora' rhyme.

Tam said...

Hmm. Perhaps that is so. I do personally say "pen" and "pin" the same way, as far as I can tell, but I definitely don't have an accent that stretches either of them into two vowel sounds as you describe. (Of course, when I read what you wrote, it does sound like a familiar accent.)

Tam said...

Funny. Laura and Nora don't rhyme for me at all. I definitely say "laura" with a first vowel similar to (though not quite to the extent of) the one in "law."

When Mosch and I were talking about this, it seemed that he expected Lora to be pronounced more like "lawra" than Laura, which he thought would rhyme more with Nora. At least that was what I got out of our conversation.

I guess I could say that, for me, Laura is usually somewhere between Mara and Law-ra.