Date: Thu, 25 Jul 1996 06:56:49 -0500

From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU

Subject: Re: Pinning Down A Region

a lot of people here insist that i don't speak like an american, but

like a canadian. i don't think that this is because they hear my

'eh's, but because non-americans seem to think that all americans

talk like texans or georgians or something (not to say these are the

same, but that they sound "american" to foreigners, while other

regional accents don't). considering how much american tv they get

I haven't found this to be true. As a Mississippian, I'd put my speech

in the broad category with (east) Texans and Georgians, but people outside

the US often think I'm not American. So do some people in the US.

Several times people in Illinois have insisted that I'm from England --

not believing me when I've vowed that I'm not English. In Toronto a

couple of weeks ago a food vendor at the Farmer's Market asked me if I

was visiting from England. (His English indicated that he was not a

native speaker.) I've always had the feeling that people in other

countries think of Midwest accents as typical US accents. In France,

I'm almost always assumed to be German. The second guess if I say I'm

not German is English, and the third is usually Canadian, sometimes

USAan. But that's getting away from the topic at hand and into accents

of American speakers of bad French.

--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]