Monday, November 16, 2009

The Great Accent Debate

It has come to our attention that a few nameless writerly friends are convinced that we have Ohio accents. Unfortunately, this is impossible because it's common knowledge that aside from Chicago, the Midwest is an accentless region of the United States.

Even Wikipedia agrees with us:

The accent characteristic of most of the Midwest is considered by many to be "standard" American English...This accent is preferred by many national radio and television broadcasters.
This may have started because many prominent broadcast personalities – such as Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Tom Brokaw, John Madden, Rush Limbaugh and Casey Kasem – came from this region and so created this perception. A November 1998 National Geographic article attributed the high number of telemarketing firms in Omaha to the "neutral accents" of the area's inhabitants.

I can't believe that anyone would dare argue with the genius that is Wikipedia, but these girls are stubborn. The Great Accent Debate has continued to rage on Facebook and in the comments section of Little Ms. J's blog, so it has been decided that the only official way to settle this is a vlog. That's right, a video blog. The idea is that we'll post a video and put it to a vote.

Little Ms. J is insisting on writing the script, but we don't want to make it too easy for her. So here's the twist: For the next 24 hours all of our blog readers will have the opportunity to leave a word in the comments section of this post that LMJ will have to incorporate into the script for the vlog. Just keep it clean, people. Roeckers don't swear. At least not on vlogs.

So, have at it. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with, and don't forget to tune in on Friday for our first ever vlog. It will either be totally epic or completely awkward. TBD.

45 comments:

Tara said...

Fabulous!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Okay, when I moved from Ohio to California I remember being mocked relentlessly (it was 5th grade, people). The two words I remember being hounded for were "toast" and "creek" so I'll be curious to see how you guys say those words. And no fair practicing ahead of time!

Simon C. Larter said...

Hyperthyroidism.

Sorry. It's the first thing that occurred to me. I wonder if that's indicative of anything?

You could always fall back on "twee" or "brio," both of which don't get used nearly enough in everyday conversation. :)

Dara said...

I'm originally from Cleveland too, and even down here in the Dayton area I've been told I have a "northern Ohio" accent. Mainly because I call road pot holes "chuck holes." :P

Cole Gibsen said...

I hate to disagree with you lovely ladies, but I'm from St. Louis and have been my whole life. If you have the same accent that we have here there's no way you can say:

"Drawer"

"Washing Machine"

"Missouri"

"Illinois"

without calling yourselves out.

If the Ohio accent is anything like the Chicago accent, there's no way you can say:

"Thing"

"Song"

or any silent "g" word without calling yourselves out.

Good luck.

T. Anne said...

Funny. When I tell people English wasn't my first language they insist I have a slight accent (I so do not) I completely believe you ;)

Nisa said...

My husband is from Ohio (Ashland). I'm from Utah. He swears I have an accent. I don't think he does. Hmm... This could be interesting!

sraasch said...

I'm from Ohio too, and I never understand when people say that Ohioans have an accent. We so don't! But these are a few words that people seem to chuckle over when said with our "accent":

"Dayton"

"Walmart"

"Wash"

Karen said...

"Soccer".

I had a friend from Ohio in junior high, and one day, when telling a story about her brother's soccer game, it came out "sacker". She swore up and down that it was a mistake and she could, indeed pronounce the word correctly.

We shall see.

Heidi Willis said...

Hmmm... having no accent myself, it's hard to pick a "trick word."

So I'll just pick one I'd like to see Miss J work into the vlog.

How about: claustrophobic

Suzyhayze said...

Portulaca. It's a word. Look it up. :) Good LUCK with THAT one. Ha!
VlOG? Oh my. Can't wait. You two are hot enough to pull it off.

Is that awkward for me to say?

Suzette Saxton said...

A midwest accent (or lack thereof ;) has to be better than a Utah accent.

"I'm gonna buy a kih-uhn with this quarder."

(I'm going to buy a kitten with this quarter.)

Would love to know your rendition of this sentence!

Kim said...

Too funny! We call our neighbors across the street "Team Ohio" and the 2 things that give them away every time are the use of the term "rid up" and the name "Polly".

Do you gals say, "rid up"?

(army)Wife said...

Ohio is midwest? I apparently do not know my geography! Hahaha!

The words I pick are:
Arctic
picture
et cetera

People have picked some interesting words. It's going to be quite a script!

Jen said...

Love it! I want to hear you say "soda" since you crazy kids out on the prairie all say pop for some strange reason.

Gail said...

I understand your denial of an accent. I'm originally from Michigan and when I moved to Atlanta, people here had the audacity to say I had an accent! Of course, now when I go back to Michigan, they think I have a Southern accent! I guess I can't win.

Try the word "pop" in a sentence meaning soda pop or the phrase "you guys" or "folks", both very Midwestern. Here they just want to say "y'all."

~Jamie said...

"Flan"

The mother in-law is from Ohio... it makes me laugh so hard I almost cry when she says this word.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

I don't know about this accent debate but I'd love it if you could introduce yourselves exactly the way you do in your about me-We're the Hilton sisters minus the spray tans...because that just cracks me up everytime.

Shannon Messenger said...

As a person with a California accent (which is more a vocabulary issue than a pronunciation issue--I cannot have a conversation without the word "like" or "all" and I use words like "awesome" "super" and "seriously" WAY more than anyone really should) I have no idea what word would be funny to hear in an Ohio accent. But I can think of a word I'd love to hear her try and slip into the script for its sheer randomness:

Aardvark.

Have fun with that! :)

Dominique said...

Chili.

Not sure what caused that, but I think it was seeing Simon's hyperthyroidism on the screen.

I think the being accent neutral counts as an accent. I mean, if I plopped you in the middle of Philly or Boston or Atlanta, you'd be recognized as from somewhere else by your accent's "neutrality."

Carolyn V. said...

I think your right, the midwest has no accent. I least that's what I was told in my language development class. Can't argue with that, at least, not till after finals. =)

Donna Gambale said...

I'll throw in my newest favorite word: addlepated. (It means confused.)

And I have no idea what an Ohio accent supposedly sounds like, but in my Philly accent I pronounce
Wah-ter like Wudder
Tow-ull like Tail
Street like Shtreet
... and many others.

I can't wait for this vlog!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I want to hear which way your creek flows. When I moved as a kid from New York to Ohio, the kids there surrounded me and kept saying, "Talk! Talk!" Quite embarrassing. But I remember how they pronounced creek and began to understand a little about regional accents. I've lived in California for many years now and I think we have the most neutral accent of all. And that's all I'm sayin.'

L. W. said...

"Pop" as in Coke, Soda. Is that what you say for soft drinks out there? Also, "pasta". Have fun!

Mariah Irvin said...

Both of my parents are from Ohio. I only notice a few words they pronounce with an accent like "wash".

Also my mom says "Barnes and Nobles" and "Ambercrombie", but that's probably just her :)

Natalie said...

Bag, mountain, and quarter :)

Erica said...

This is hilarious! Well, being from Michigan-- no we don't have an accent. We sound like the people on tv... LOL that's what I was told anyway.

Hmmm, how about fork, and Ohio State Sucks! Sorry, had to as a Michigan fan :)

This should be fun to watch :o)

Icy Roses said...

Hmmm, it seems like everyone has everything covered.

"Apple" and "Class."

I just want to see if you have a Chicago accent, like the one I am slowly picking up by being around a bunch of Chicago suburbanites. Central Illinois, for the most part, has no accent. I've never noticed an Ohio one when I went there. I don't know, though. Maybe Cleveland is different?

Christina Lee said...

HMMMMM... well since I am your Cleveland neighbor---obviously I would up for ridiclue as well. BUT I do have to say that when I lived in NYC my roommate would tease me about saying "anywayS" instead of "anyway", "pop" and "tennis shoes".....

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm ALWAYS being told I have a Minnesota accent. (I lived in MN for a year--put the accent on the hard a!) When we moved to Virginia, I may as well have been from another planet! My accent seemed hilarious to them. I just didn't see it!

Hayley said...

Dodecaicosagon

A thiry two sided figure. And are you sure you don't have an accent? Because my cousin lives over there and they do have a slight accent...but I'll take your word for it.

ElanaJ said...

I don't believe for a second that you have an accent. But I wanna hear you say "shrub." Mostly because it's my favorite word in the world. :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I have to tell you ladies, I lived in Michigan before moving to South Louisiana (a Cajun-flavored southern accent all its own). Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, you all have very nasal vowels. That comment about soccer becoming "sacker," that's it exactly!

It's the southwest that is accent-less (I say with a smile, I'm originally from NM).

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Ooh, I've been trying to think of words ever since I found out about this. Sadly, they are all lame, but anyway....

"Repertoire"
"Fackelmayer."
"saucer"
"shorty"

Jill Edmondson said...

Okay, y'all, here's what the Chick from Canada sez...

Y'all have an American accent to my Canuck ears, and it's aBOOT time we talked aBOOT it.

Y'all say "y'all" and "ruff" (on top of your house), and there is a twang that seems to exist from coast to coast.

A lot of youse guys say "huh" in contrast to the Maple Leaf, Eh?

"Gotten" instea do "got" (as past participle).

"Restroom" instead of "washroom"...

I don't even know aBOOT turnpikes and catsup.

There is so much more for writers to be aware of, especially when it comes o punctuation and spelling, i.e. OUR vs. OR endings.

So - to my ears - there is an accent, but also so much more...

Au revoir, Jill
www.jilledmondson.com
"Blood and Groom" is now available!

Jemi Fraser said...

Another Canadian here. I always find it interesting to hear my American friends say...

hockey :)

jessjordan said...

A National Geographic article? What are you Ohio peeps--animals??

My word (the spelling of which I had to look up): supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Little Ms J said...

I cannot wait to write this script. Furthermore, I cannot wait to watch/listen to Lisa read it. These words are like music to my little ears. I'm trying to decide though - do I email it to Laura and have her give it to Lisa at the time of vlog? I agree with another commenter who said no fair practicing and I can't wait to see Lisa's face when she begins to read my masterpiece.

Abby Annis said...

fester :)

Looking forward to the vlog.

Lisa and Laura said...

LMJ - Laura is going to participate. This is a joint vlog dude. You'll have to write lines for both of us. If you really don't want us to rehearse you can send the script to Stacey. She's our videographer.

Katie said...

I'm rubbin' my hands together in anticipation. Can't wait!

Bring it on Cole! You've nailed them!

Katie said...

Yes!!!!! Let's meet Stacey too!!!!!!

Woo hoo! I love me some Roeckers. And bring on the Regulator too. What fun!

Corey Schwartz said...

Why not throw Mom Roecker in there too?

Rebecca Knight said...

I'm excited!

Two words: "The Bears."