Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"A Rose... any other name, would still smell as sweet"---Right? Well, let's talk about that.

Recently---and I don't even remember how it came up, my friends were teasing about my midwest accent---again. It's been ongoing for 30 years now. I take it all in good sport. But sometimes, they have me questioning myself. It's not like I have another midwesterner here with whom I can confer. Plus, my children grew up here and jumped on the "that's not how you say it" bandwagon early. I married an Oklahoman, so he's no help. 

There are many words I say differently than everyone else. Anything with an "or" in it comes out and sounds like "ar" from me. Like fork---is fark; forty---is farty; farmer---no wait, that's right, now I'm confused---oh yeah, it rhymes with former. Just reading all that back looks weird and wrong to me. But that's how I talk. 

Of course, here, I'm surrounded by southern accents. They all drop the "g" at the end of "ing" words, like goin' or speakin'. I guess if you add that little accent sign it's okay. My favorite is "fixin'". Like "I'm fixin' to start supper. Now I know the dropping of "g's" isn't exactly correct because every time I type it like that---spell check keeps correcting me. Man, if I was a southerner, that would drive me crazy! And then we have Cajun friends who say "Laugh--ee--ette" rather than "Lahf-ee-yette" as I was taught. Here in Nashville, they say "La--FAY--ette" which is just wrong. Whatever.

Sundae is the word that came up recently. I still can't remember how or what we were discussing. Turns out there are 3 correct pronunciations:Sunday—definitely the most usedSundeeSunduh—you know how y’all’ve (I think I just might have made up a new word—contraction for “you all have”)  been razzing me!! You made me second guess myself. When I was in St. Louis recently, I polled all of my siblings. Jeanne, Joyce and Matt—ALL said “sunday.” Now I was really sweating it---like maybe I'm some kind of hick after all. Then I asked Janice and Jennifer. They both said “sunduh.” I asked Ronnie to break the tie. His response, “I never say that word.” Uh, thanks, Ron.The funny thing is that when I'm in St. Louis these days, all those midwest accents really stand out to me---even my siblings. I just don't hear people talking like me much.I think Shakespeare would agree with me, "a sunduh by any other name would still taste as sweet!" Hmmm, I never realized I had so much in common with William. Oh, yeah, it's that "smitten with Britain" thing I've had goin' far at least farty years!


  1. LOL What a FUN post today Barbara! We have lots of discussions about pronunciation here because Robbie grew up in the north (bless his heart) and I grew up in the south. I'm always fixin' to do something while Robbie is fixing something that's broken! I have a coke and he has a pop.

  2. The topic comes up here as well - Jay grew up in this area. I grew up in Chicago and upstate New York (which makes for an interesting mix). But my kids all speak Perkasie which is it's own language. They have always pronounced the word "crayon" (cray-ON) as "crown" - what??? I hear similar issues with "drawer" and "mirror" and it nearly drives me insane. That little bit of wax you color with is not the same thing as a tiara you wear on your head! I get teased for the way I say roof (like ruf) and then I'm told I should be pronouncing boot like but... At least the Boston stuff I picked up in college didn't take hold!

  3. It's fascinating! My sister and I don't sound very alike any more, because I moved to the city and don't sound so "country" now..tho it comes back as soon as I start talking to anyone from where I grew up. In the city your accent can change depending on which school you went to or even which street you grew up in. We can pick them out though a stranger might not be able to. When I visited Boston I was mistaken for Scottish. Interesting..

  4. it would be so boring if we were all the same, embrace your accent it makes you special x


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