Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 22:42:32 +0000
From: Grant Barrett gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]JERRYNET.COM
Subject: Pinning Down A Region
Just spent six months in the Virgin Islands managing a small retail store. One of my favorite
pastimes was to try to figure out where people off the cruise ships were from without telling me.
There was an enormous amount of traffic so I had plenty of practice.
What I learned:
-- There seems to be a Great Lakes whine. Syracuse, Lansing, Madison, Chicago and plenty of towns
in between have it. They dont admit it, and there're plenty of differences, but still.
-- Canadians DO say eh. The next best clue of their origin is that they complain about the look and
feel of American paper money. Also, try to get them to say "holiday" or "bottle".
-- East Texas and non-Cajun Lousiana sound a lot a like. Almost made a lifetime enemy by calling a
La. woman a Texan.
-- The Boston accent, like all accents, is strong in the older generations. I don't know if the kids will
pick them up later, but they sure don't have the accents now.
-- Hawaiians have an accent. I can't quantify it, but I'm working on it. May have to do field research.
Still wondering why a Hawaiian would take a Caribbean cruise.
-- Southern Missouri and Arkansas share a lot in common, speech-wise, but it wasn't until I was
away for a while that I was able to tell the difference. More Texas influence in Ark., flatter in
-- The Bowery boys accent may be near-dead in New York, but there's a new replacement: umpteenth
generation Puerto Rican English. Vey different from the English as a second language accent, and a
good distance from Spanglish.