Thursday, October 12, 2006

Linguistic Geography of the Mainland United States

*I was going to title this "American English" but decided to go with the long technical title of the map instead. I figured it would make ya'll go "HUH??"

My name is Carrie and I have a southern accent. I have had it my entire life. Yes, I grew up in Kansas, but for some reason my entire family talks this way and I don't know why. It was not a problem when I lived in Texas. I even managed to add "Fixin' to" to my vocabulary and sound natural (Horrible but true, just ask and I will demonstrate). In Texas I blended in. It didn't matter that the number 10 sounded like the metal tin when I said it. No one ever thought I was asking for a safety pin when I wanted to borrow and ink pen. My problems began when I moved to the north east. In New York they thought it was cute. Students would ask me to say words and then giggle. Now that I am in New England, it is a different story. I don't know how a group of people who "pawk their caws" can make fun of me but they do.

It is funny to hear how people from different parts of the country say things differently. For example, what do you call the thing that hangs on the wall that you drink water out of? Up here they call it a bubbler, back home it is a drinking fountain. What about the bag you carry your wallet in? Up here -- pocket book, back home -- purse. The one that drive me crazy is standing on line. What line are ya standing on???? There is no line on the ground, you people are IN line not on it!!!!

I saw and article in National Geographic last year about some scientists that did a study on regional dialects. They found that there are 8 different dialects in the US based on where you live. They even used my pen-pin, ten-tin thing as an example for the southern dialect. I am a midlander with a southern coastal speech pattern. What are you?

Well, I'm fixin' to go read to Alex. Catch ya'll later.


Anonymous said...

Technically, it's a BUBBLAH hehehehe and ya'll took the words dang out my mouth, I was fix'in to do a post JUST LIKE THIS ONE tonight, but'cha beat me to it girlie! *grin*
Thanks for making me smile!

-Amy & (one very sound asleep) miss Ruby Cate

kikalee said...

Yeah, that on line thing beats me. I know a Georgian and a New Jersey-an that do it, so who knows where the heck that came from. But you have to say pocketbook in the correct dialect up here -- pokkabook.

Lisa~~ said...

Well, I'm the opposite of you. Here I am a New Englander living in Georgia still having difficulty understanding what people are saying. If you're interested, there was a show on PBS called "Do you speak American" which showed all the different dialects and accents across the US. I enjoyed watching it and what's wrong with bubbler???