Thursday, May 17, 2007
What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on

Southern. Love it or hate it, your accent says you're probably from somewhere south of the Ohio River.

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

Mama Roar gave us this nifty little quiz a few days ago. I share it here again just in case you didn't see it. AND I thought of a little story about my West Texas twang. So--If you haven't already, why don't you take the little quiz and meet me back here.when you finish.

OK, now you know how you speak--like you didn't already know. But it is kind of fun to see it on the map--Right! My map showed me just what I already knew--From the south!

Yep that's me. I was born, and mainly raised, in West Texas--with some time spent in North Central Texas. Some people don't consider Texas the true south. It's considered Southwest. But in the large scheme of things, it is in the south. As a young adult I moved to Tennessee--which is definitely the SOUTH!.

So, naturally my speech is Southern--but how far south? When I speak I hear a little Tennessee and a lot of Texas. I once met a man who told me just by listening to my speech exactly where I was from.

Several years ago I was attending graduate school at a university in Middle Tennessee. I had been in class and with a study group all of one Saturday morning. About six or seven of us had gone to a little diner/coffee shop near the campus for lunch. We sat talking for awhile after we had eaten and were preparing to return to campus for the afternoon class session. I stopped at the pay phone (this was in the days before cell phones) to touch base with my husband about our late afternoon/evening schedule. Our conversation was about our children, soccer games, and movies.

When I got off the phone a man sitting nearby on a stool at the counter asked me if he could ask me something. Well, I'm not in the habit of speaking to strange men, but he looked safe and I was with a group, so I stopped. He said he had been listening to me and he wanted to know if I was from Lubbock, or Amarillo, Texas. I was somewhat surprised, because there was nothing in my conversation on the phone, or at the table, that had anything to do with where I was from. So I asked why he would think I was from one of those small cities. He explained that he was a linguistics professor and liked to try to match people to their town of origin by listening to their speech. He said that his best guess for me was Lubbock, but there was a hint of something else and he thought I might have lived in Amarillo.

I was born thirty miles from Lubbock and had lived in Lubbock more than anywhere else for most of my growing up years--including going back there to college! I explained my West Texas background and added that I had lived some other places in Texas (DFW and between Wichita Falls and Amarillo) and had been in Tennessee for about 17 years. He said those years could account for the little difference he was hearing!

He went on to nail, within at least fifty miles, the hometowns of two others in the group. One of them had lived in or near Baton Rouge, LA all of her life. I figured that was a no brainer for someone with that skill! The other was a little more difficult--a small town in Illinois.

That's just a little random story about speech, geography, graduate school in the eighties, and a man who either had a real talent for language or too much free time!

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  posted at 7:51 PM  

At May 18, 2007 at 1:22 AM, Blogger Diane J. said...

Well, I was born and raised within 5 miles of where I live now, in Northeast Arkansas. And you can definitely tell by my accent! I've never lived anywhere else, and never wanted to. :-)

And the quiz? It put me in the South, too. For some reason. ;D

Have a great weekend, Myrna!

PS: I just spent 20 minutes putting together that echinacea jigsaw puzzle a few posts down! I love puzzles!

Love and hugs,


At May 18, 2007 at 4:52 AM, Blogger Becky said...

That was a fun story, and I have to say I love me a Texas accent. Cute. as. can. be. Have a great weekend. And I know you will want to be informed that this is our last Friday of the school year. Yee Ha!

At May 18, 2007 at 7:32 AM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

He probably had a little bit of both. An interesting story.

At May 18, 2007 at 8:51 AM, Blogger Momma Roar said...

I found it at Trella's blog - it was fun. I couldn't believe how accurate mine was - it was narrowed down to just a small area too!

At May 18, 2007 at 9:19 AM, Blogger Susie said...

Well, I was born in this CA town and lived here all my life.
Here's what mine said:
"Midland. The Midland (please don't confuse with "Midwest") itself is the neutral zone between the North and South. But just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from there. Since it is considered a neutral, default, "non-regional" accent you could easily be from someplace without its own accent, like Florida, or a big city in the South like Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta.

Fun quiz..

At May 18, 2007 at 8:44 PM, Blogger Midlife Mom said...

Fun quiz! I got bogged down on the puzzle a few posts back though. Never was very good at puzzles even though I like doing them. That is so interesting about that guy guessing your town. Bet he could talk with me 5 minutes and know I was from Maine! heehee!I've gone to parrrk the cahhhh. eyah.

At May 20, 2007 at 4:26 AM, Blogger "Early Bird" said...

Hi, I'm up early this morning and came over from Diane J's blog...
I bet the prof would have a field day with was born and raised in KY and lived 5 years in Texas and now have lived 2 years in Ohio...People are forever asking where I'm from...and btw...I can never pass that there comes our different every time


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