How to tell the difference between accents

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/14/how-to-tell-the-difference-bet-2.html

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He forgot to compare Boston & Philadelphia - here, let me help out:

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Is there one for the twenty or more Canadian accents?

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CSB:
Moved from Brooklyn down to Tampa when I was in second grade (thanks a lot dad). Aside from getting my first “D” grade ever (in phys-ed; You want me to run around outside when it’s 95 degrees out? Piss off; I’m sitting in the shade) I was constantly made fun of for saying “youz-guys”.

11 years later, and I’m legally allowed to move out of that hell-hot state so I come back north to Boston. Guess what? I picked up the vernacular down there and now at college I’m getting made fun of for saying y’all.

youz-guys vs. y’all

/CSB

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Coming from southern Ohio, I thought I had zero accent at all, but when I moved to Boston, I was told I had a “southern accent” (I think a y’all slipped out once) and got laughed at every time I asked for a glass of “pop”.

Now I go back to visit family in Ohio and get made fun of for sounding posh and big-city when I order “soda”.

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There’s an episode of “Flight of the Conchords” that gives an easy way to tell the difference between a New Zealand and an Australian accent.

I forget if it was Brett or Jemaine who said it - probably Jemaine - but basically, the accents are the same except the Australian one is evil.

The show came out of New Zealand, but I’m sure they didn’t let any personal bias get in the way.

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What’s a “pop”? Is that like a “jimmy”?

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If you need to figure out whether someone is a New Yorker or a Bostonian, rather than rely on accent cues, just talk shit about the Red Sox. It will quickly become obvious. (Warning: do this at your own risk)

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It’s kind of like a tonic you get at the packie.

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This guy has done a series of these videos for Wired and they’re all interesting and worth watching.

Also, ollaya rhotic-types can go jump.

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Done. You win.

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The irony is that, even as an American, I probably have an easier time recognizing and locating various non-American English-language accents (e.g. regional British accents) than I do various regional American ones. Maybe because I don’t watch enough American television, but maybe because US television/film is so California/New York focused that other accents get suppressed or (mis)represented by actors who don’t actually have that accent (and do a poor job of imitating it).

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“Where’s the car?” vs. “Where’s the car?”

It’s quite easy, actually.

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“Hey, youz-guyz, y’all wanna go to the mall?”

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We say “pop” in Toronto too, so not restricted to southern Ohio.

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A nice roundup of Bahstahn accents;

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Growing up in the north west of England I was often teased at school for being posh because my accent wasn’t very broad. When I moved to work in London I was, of course, considered to be “the northerner.” So you just can’t win.

On my one trip to the US I was in Atlanta and went to get a haircut. The barber asked if I was South African which really did surprise me.

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And a dissenting opinion:

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I’ve lived outside the UK for over 30 years - mostly in various parts of the US, but also in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. I now have a “not from round here” accent in every place.

But, I was also asked if I was South African a couple of times in the southern US, which tells me that person has never met or heard an actual South African, because I sound nothing like that.

I think it’s that if you don’t sound Prince Charles or Crocodile Dundee then they are frantically searching in their mind for other places in the world where people speak English

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Plus, in a lot of cases, the one-shot/speaking extra has a West Coast Canadian accent. Just to add to the fun.

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