Thursday, January 25, 2007

Language arts

So I took this quiz after The Lesley did it, and I got some similar results...

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

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Now, before you say, hey, wait a munkee minute, you're from Pennsylvania, and you didn't get Philadelphia, keep in mind...

I'm not from Philadelphia!

Believe me, my uncle's from Philadelphia and it's a whole different accent. I'm from rural Pennsylvania, which is sort of generic Northeast, I guess. And any Jersey/New York influence probably comes from the facts that a) I live in Jersey now; and b) my parents, who taught me to speak, are from New York. Even though neither one has much of a New York accent, depending on whom you ask.

But the survey reminds me of two stories.

First, there was my time with a British accent.

That's right. Once upon a time, I had an accent that most American women find irresistable. (Right, Jin?)

The downside was, of course, that I was about 3 years old.

Unlike a co-worker who tried so hard to lose his Dutch accent as an adult, only to find out that women love foreign accents, this entire thing was unintentional.

My folks had taken me to England, and because children couldn't eat in the dining room at whatever fancy hotel they were staying in, they got a nanny for the dinner hours. And she was, of course, British.

And so I was spending a couple of hours a day with me. While I was learning to talk.

So by the end of the week, my parents noticed that, sure enough, I was starting to sound like her.

Of course, that was all gone a few weeks after we got home. Too bad.

The second story has nothing to do with me, and also happened when I was younger. So maybe I don't remember it 100% accurately, but hey, this is my blog, so you'll just have to trust me.

There was a professor at Bloomsburg, where my Dad taught, who was a linguist.

And my Dad told me once that this professor had solved a missing persons case with his mad linguist skillz.

See, the authorities had found someone wandering with amnesia, and no ID. So they didn't know who she was, and she couldn't tell them.

So they turned to a linguist, this professor. And he talked with her. And by listening to her accent, he figured out what part of the country she was from. (It wasn't anywhere near where they were!)

The cops went to the police in that area, and sure enough, there was a missing person who matched the description of the woman they had.

See? Having an accent can come in handy.

1 Comment:

jin said...

Ahhhhh.....speak to me in a Brit accent & I'll follow you anywhere....

Is it completely F'd up that I used to have my ex talk to me like that?!
(Shhh...don't tell D! ;-)

Yeah...I'm so Morticia Addams sometimes.