Awhile ago I took one of those online assessments where they ask you how you pronounce certain words. Upon completing the quiz, they tell you where they think you’re from based on your pronunciation. I tend to confuse these tests. They can’t seem to figure out where I’m from!
See, I grew up in Philly, yo! There are moments when my Philly accent comes out more strongly than others, like when I spend a decent amount of time with my brother, Todd (which sadly doesn’t happen nearly enough). There’s something about him that brings out the Philly girl in me and the accent comes out like a fighter.
Then I transported myself halfway across the northern U.S. to go to college in Minneapolis…which also maintains a strong accent. By Christmas of my freshman year, my internal accent couldn’t quite figure out which city I belonged in! It was a bit of an identity crisis, to be honest. My Philly friends that were in school with me were fighting the Minnesohta accent strongly and making fun of my mishaps frequently. The joke’s on them…most of them stayed in the upper Midwest after college…and now they sound like natives.
After five years of Minnesota-loving talk I moved to the Mitten. Michigan. The Detroit area, to be exact. Now, Michigan has its accental quirks-especially on the western side. But let’s be honest-I spent most of my time in Motown, where the Detroit city speak was prevalent ands where my students yelled out, “I gotta use it!” It wasn’t so much an accent that I picked up there, as it was a whole new way of speaking. I taught for seven years in the D and you could always tell when I’d been talking about my students in the classroom. It would come out. I had morphed into a different person. It was comical.
Almost seven years ago I moved to D.C. This area is such a melting pot that there isn’t truly an accent…until you crossover into Virginia. There is something about that line. All of a sudden you get closer and closer to southern accents. It didn’t help that I developed a ton of friends that are from the south and who have kept their accents from the days they used to fish with their pawpaw and have low country boils to feed a hundred folks. Nowadays, people meet me for the first time, hear me speak and they often assume I’m from the South. I just laugh and say, “Yea, no, but that makes sense.”
In two months I will be moving back in the Philly area. I look forward to carrying a little bit of everywhere I’ve had the honor of living over the past nineteen years back with me, if in no other way…but in through the many accents I’ve picked up along the way.
Thanks for the blog idea! http://www.nextstepediting.com/your-30-stories/