Just a short post tonight because I was busy until 11 AM learning to breathe underwater.
Just now, I was thinking about regional differences in the way we Americans speak English. Personally I have a bad ear for identifying accents: I know some people can listen to someone speak and recognize that they are from Arkansas or Texas or Tennessee, but not me. My ear just doesn't register those subtleties.
When I was a young boy, I spoke with a horrible Bronx accent, but then when my family moved to the suburbs I slowly, unconsciously dropped it because the kids in school would make fun of the way I talked... and I am glad they did! Whoo, I could not imagine going through life like that.
As I said I am a terrible gauge, but I was told a few times that, after living in New Orleans for so long, my accent had mellowed alot. Once someone told me that what with the slow way I was talking I was almost more like a Georgian without the accent. I'm not sure if that's changed at all since I've moved up to DC. I think I kind of pick up all kinds of things from people I'm around (usually bad linguistic habits like saying "like" all the time or starting sentences with "I feel")
One regional difference in pronunciation which my friend Kiki and I (pictured above) worked out, and which you dont often hear remarked on, is the fact that some people from the South or wherever pronounce the names Erin and Aaron basically identically whereas people (like us) from New York/New Jersey made a big distinction between Eh-rin and Aaagh-rin. How do you pronounce these names?
There's also odd differences in vocabulary that I've notice between New Yorkers and people from other parts of the country like how we usually refer to our sporty footwear as "sneakers" whereas other Americans might prefer to say "tennis shoes" or "running shoes". And how my Mom refers to "handbags" as "pocketbooks" (pronounced like "pock-a-book" moreover. It's fun to say).
Anyway that's my observation for the evening.