Still a little bit Southern, I reckon

A fancy bar trick of mine is to confuse strangers with my accent and dialect. Most think I have ‘no accent’ or that I’ve studied dialects, much like Professor Higgins I’d assume, and this is why they can’t pinpoint my origin. Granted, most are distracted by my ethnicity, but that’s a story for another blog.

Often, I find that I mimic those I talk to, not only in intonation, but also vernacular. When I lived in Australia, all my sentences were like a roller coaster and I always sounded as if I was asking a question, even when it was a statement. Now that I’ve worked with the Scottish for the past 3 years, ‘aye’ is my preferred word of affirmation. And playing Gaelic sports with the Irish only means I can effectively swear like a sailor, to be sure.

But, no matter how hard I try, I’m still a little bit Southern. This was brought to my attention when I was recently asked who hosted Cash Cab (you know, the TV game show that takes place in a cab!). I eagerly shouted Ben Bailey (phonetically, that was Bin Baaylee, of course).

Today, I came across this dialect map…

American dialects

…and it made me giggle for this simple fact: pin=pen.

Well, it does. Just ask my mother.

Check out your dialect, complete with example videos, here. Is your part of the map accurate?

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4 Comments»

  rossruns wrote @

I had a pair of teachers from the south when I was in high school that always said “Take out your ballpoint pin” – they clarified it with the word “ballpoint” because half of the folks in our class wouldn’t have realized they were talking about a pen, otherwise!

Now I live in Charlotte and hear it occasionally, and get a kick out of it, just like you do. 🙂

  zigzagmags wrote @

haha – classic. now that you mention it, my mom always said ‘ballpoint pin’. it was of course how she graded her papers.

for the most part, i don’t hear the difference (though do know there is one) and if anything, i think i sound pretentious and fake when i try to say it properly.

  crankypants wrote @

LOL! Do you have a link for that dialect map? I’d love to see it full-size.
(that’s what she said)

  zigzagmags wrote @

haha – nice one.

Yep – here’s the link: http://aschmann.net/AmEng/

Click the map to enlarge.


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