No, YOU Have An Accent

Have you heard of this accent meme that everyone's been doing lately? (Incidentally, did you know that "meme" is pronounced "meem," because I won't laugh if you didn't. I didn't until.....ooh, about six months ago. Up until then, I was calling it—only in my head, thankfully—a "meh-may," sort of like "memo," I guess, which seemed to make sense. Not to worry, though; Sean used to think it was called a "mee-mee." Because, as he so succinctly said, "when you do one of those, it's all about me, me, me, me, me.") 

Anyway! Over the last few weeks, there's been a thing going around on the Internet where people film themselves talking, pronouncing certain words, and answering questions designed to make other people snort uncomprehendingly and sputter "What? You call all sodas a Coke? How does that work?" (This one seems to come up a lot.)

I've watched a fair few of them and I've found them endlessly engaging; first of all, because you get to put a voice to a blogger whose words you have hitherto only read on the screen (most likely in a voice you'd assigned to them in your head), and second of all because I think accents are really, really interesting. For the longest time, for instance, I didn't realize that there were a whole bunch of different American accents—the Boston accent, the Southern accent, the Midwestern accent, and so on—because I just thought there was an American accent, and that was it. (I think a lot of people think this about English accents too, when really, there are a huge number of regional differences, even for such a tiny country.) 

So long story short—although, as you will see in a minute, I am incapable of making anything short—I decided to make my own accent video (or "vlog," as the kids are calling it, which sounds like a Russian verb that would be hard to conjugate) because hey, I love a good bandwagon as much as the next gal. Let me jump on! I have nothing else to do tonight! (Actually, I had everything else to do that night, but talking awkwardly into a camera sounded more appealing. Which is to say, the other things I had to do were not very appealing at all.) 

Unfortunately, my accent video is about six hundred million minutes long because I have a really hard time getting to the point—did you expect anything less from me, after these positively voluminous blog entries I write? Somewhere, Hemingway is rolling over in his grave to hear a person using five words where one would do, and not even doing it while simultaneously shooting a wild buffalo either—and so it is probably going to take you a while to watch, and, as such, you may choose to skip it entirely, in which case I shall not be offended at all. (It is just me TALKING, TALKING, TALKING. ALSO, MORE TALKING. AND MAYBE THEN SOME TALKING.) 

If you are interested, though, this is what I sound like.  Please ignore the points at which my screensaver comes on while I natter obliviously away and then try to fumble, panic-stricken, for the space bar so I can make it all come to life again, the combined effect of which seems to give the impression that I am having very short, very quick discos in my home office (light! dark! light again!), which I wish were true, but is not.

Anyway, here I am:

If you want to follow along at home (or make your own version!), these are the directions you're given when you make the video. 

Say the following words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught.

And answer the following questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents? 
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

Oct 19, 2011

I think I'm still calling it me-me. Because it's in my head and I've called it that way for years. Whoops.

Oct 19, 2011

I thought it was a me-me for years. And although I know the correct way to say it now, I still say it that way in my head. Your voice is lovely and a bit posh.

Oct 19, 2011

Wow - I knew you were English, and you lived in England, but somehow I never heard you in my head with an English accent. Now I will read everything you write with your accent! I am from Canada - the prairie part right in the middle - and I can definitively say that we do not have accents. Everyone else does - but we don't!!

Kate in Ohio
Oct 19, 2011

I am feeling quite uneducated right now because not only did I not know how to pronounce it, I have never even heard it before. Also, I say it is raining when it is raining, no matter what the sun is doing, and I am not sure what kind of spider you are referring to. I have a college degree, but now I think I overpaid.

Oct 19, 2011

Oh my goodness - like Cheryl above, I know you're from England, but I never imagined you with an english accent! So hearing your vlog sounded so weird to me... haha. Thanks for doing this!

Oct 19, 2011

I can't claim to have pronounced meme correctly. However, in my family we call the spider a daddy long legs. And the rain thing is called a sun shower, at least amongst everyone I grew up with.

Oct 19, 2011

I used to think it was "mee + mee" too! In 8th grade, my family moved from NC to WI and all the kids went on and on about how I had an accent but to me? They did! :)

Oct 19, 2011

You do sound how I expect! Now granted I think in a very early blog post you tell us you are English and to imagine a British accent in our heads..there are a lot but for some reason I didn't give you a Northern England accent or someone from Cornwall so I think I was pretty close! My dad is from England and my mom is from Ireland-but sounds completely English so I grew up with the weirdest hybrid accent ever! I also say things almost exactly like you do!! So nice to know I am not the only one, although I do have to learn how to say water differently because I just get funny looks so now I say waaddd errr if I would like it on a plane or something. Thanks for doing these!

Oct 19, 2011

I have watched several of these, and although I had heard your voice before, it is neat to hear the real voice of all the writers that I read.

When it is raining and the sun also is shining, my southern husband says - the devil is beating his wife.

And no one I have heard says "spitting image" correctly ;) It's "spittin'image" - almost just one word. To say "spitting image" would mean an image that is spitting.

Oct 19, 2011

I have actually seen a video of you talking before, but not at such length so your voice did surprise me a bit. You sound so pleasant! Not that I imagined you sounding harsh or something but your voice is soft. Now I sound weird.

Anyway, I love these things. I love hearing people who I read online speak! I also love the way you say oregano and aluminum!

Rachel H
Oct 19, 2011

Okay, I've known that you have a British accent but I have to say that video was very enlightening accent-wise. I always imagined you with a deeper voice for some reason. And this is going to sound strange but I thought you looked a lot younger in that video than you do in your photos. Now that just sounds weird. Let's pretend that last sentence never happened. Okay? Okay.

I want to do one of these accent videos now, although I don't have a blog at all. I really just want to talk about how the word is CUE-PON not coupon and everyone else is crazy, including my husband. Also I'd like someone to please tell me what word they are looking for in regards to the rain falling while the sun is shining.

In conclusion, love the blue walls and love your outfit as always! Thanks for making this video.

Oct 19, 2011

I agree with the above comments. I KNEW you were English, but in reading your posts I never read them with an English accent. Sooo, you sound completely different than I imagined. Thanks for doing this, it was a great vlog.

Oct 19, 2011

Your accent lives up to my imagination. I totally enjoyed that video - sorry, vlog. :-)

And it was educational too as I learnt something new today - the American way of saying New Orleans.

Btw, I have definitely 'touched' those striped millipede like creatures as a kid. All for the love of watching them curl into tiny balls.

Oct 19, 2011

I CANNOT get over your accent! It's so much more...British than I expected! I mean, I figured I always read your blog with too much of an American accent, even knowing you're British, because well, I read it how I talk. Wow, crazy. (In a good way, mais oui.)

Oct 19, 2011

This is fabulous. I love hearing your voice and now when I read, it won't be in my brain with an American accent anymore.

Oct 19, 2011

As another English expat who's lived in NY for 10 years now I can attest to the importance of slipping into an almost American accent just to be understood by the natives. No one can understand me when I tell them my name is Ros, I am invariably called Rose or some such other nonsense and being English am much too polite to point out to acquaintences that they have been calling me by the wrong name for years now.
Also my children call seltzer 'fizzy water' and shopping carts are trolleys to them too. And they say tomato the right way :-)

Oct 19, 2011

I love your blue office walls ;)
this was such a great video - I didn't even know you were from England! I only found your blog a couple of weeks a go when I was looking for something about San Francisco... I'm from Germany but spend this summer in the US - and mostly people didn't get it directly that I was foreign. It was very funny most of the times. I guess I sound like quite the mixture (but luckily not like the typical German tourist...)! I'm pretty good with the typical American accent, though some words just come out with a Southern accent or a British one! I should give these questions & words a try, not sure I'd post this though. It doesn't really count if English isn't your mother tongue, does it?
Any way, I love languages and it was great to see you talk!
Best wishes from far away, Resi

Oct 19, 2011

I find this blog/vlog interesting. I might even consider doing one myself! I was born and raised in Texas but am currently living in Ohio. Everyone up here was surprised because I "didn't have a southern accent", but seeing my sister recently, she told me "you're starting to get an accent!".
I don't think I realized the US had so many accents either.

Oct 19, 2011

Love it! I've watched everyone else's accent vlogs and am now very tempted to do my own, awkwardness and all.

Oct 19, 2011

You sound pretty much exactly how I imagined you would, since I think one of the first things I read on your blog was your 'About' section and learned that you are British. I watch an embarrassing amount of British television, so I guess I imagined you with a pretty RP accent, definitely not a northern accent. I love that you ramble in the video, since I think that shows how you normally speak, which is also interesting, aside from the pronunciations. :)

My sister lived in Pittsburgh, PA for 2 years for graduate school and she learned a number of interesting regionalisms. For example, they will say "This needs washed" instead of "This needs washing." She catches herself doing this occasionally. We were also in a diner when I learned that you CANNOT order a "gyro" and pronounce it correctly (YEAR-oh), you have to say JY-roe. Like gyroscope. I shudder when I think about it too much.

Anyway, watching you makes me want to do one of these, so I think I will do that after work and come back with a link for you!

Oct 19, 2011

I agree with Sean. They should be called Me Me's.

Valerie L
Oct 19, 2011

I have always said "mee-mee". I guess I was

I love your hybrid accent. Now I wonder how different my American accent is from other Americans...I never really thought about it before.

Oct 19, 2011

I think you also have a hybrid American-English accent like Susie. It's cute.

Oct 19, 2011

i love it! your voice is higher than i thought and and very correct and upscale, pretty british!
now i will have the correct voice for reading . . .

and i think most americans call sun+rain together a sun shower. i do, anyway . . .

Anna Louisa
Oct 19, 2011

Ha I love this! British accents are the should do vlogs regularly! :)

Oct 19, 2011

What I have gleaned from this exercise is that a) your accent is beautiful, and b) there is no way I'm doing this. Just saying the words to myself has made me realize that my Southern pops out much, MUCH more frequently than I thought.

So how I would answer few of your questions-- the bug that curls up? A doodle bug, or a roly-poly. And the way I pronounce 'oil' is more like 'awwl;' and yes, 'Coke' is all sugar water with bubbles. You then just ask what kind.

Oct 19, 2011

I was waiting for the list of words to include "room." When I was an undergrad I lived down the hall from an anthropology/linguistics double major, and he did a paper for class on the way I said "room," which it seems is very odd although I can't imagine how else you would say it. Maybe I'm the only one on the planet who says it the way I do?

Also, I have no idea what you call it when it's raining and sunny, besides "raining and sunny," and I also have no name for a bug that curls up into a ball when you touch it. Which is probably because I avoid touching bugs of any kind whenever possible.

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 19, 2011

Drusilla, I am now dying to know how you say it. For the record, I say it like "rume" or maybe "rewm." Do you say it like "rum"? I've heard that before.

Oct 19, 2011

Ew!I remember Palmetto bugs from when I lived in (and visit my mom) in Florida. Beefy, aggressive bugs that were much meatier than cockroaches.

Nice to hear what you sound like IRL. I expected less of a British accent (I don't know why) but your very British accent makes me miss my old neighbors something fierce. She hailed from Cornwall and he from New Zealand. I wish they hadn't moved away because my daughter was picking up on some of the words/accents that their boys used (like "pardon").

I think they should have added "pasta," "bath" and "vehicle" to the list of words to pronounce. Also, maybe what you would call that pack that tourists use to carry things in that fastens around their mid-sections...

Enjoyed hearing your I want scones!

Oct 19, 2011

That was so fun! I did it too. Because you inspired me.

Oct 19, 2011

The little bug is a roly poly
I am from the south, so when addressing groups of people I say ya'll or all ya'll, but I also say please and thank you:) And all sodas are "cokes"

Oct 19, 2011

I was hoping that you would do one of these! I have been watching as many of them as I can find. I find accents so very interesting! I don't do a very good impression of an English accent so I never read your posts with one but you sound like I thought you would.

Oct 19, 2011

Oh Holly, you sound exactly how I thought you would.

Here is mine:

I don't really blog but I heard about this on twitter and I didn't see any from Canadians so I had to jump in.

Also, I don't comment here often, but I always want to tell you that there is a Hollyburn clinic right across the street from my house. Actually, there are quite a few businesses named Hollyburn something or other around here (I'm in Vancouver - the North Shore in particular seems to have named things after you.)

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 19, 2011

Lara, I remember this from when I went to Vancouver! I liked pretending they'd named a boat after me.

Chris C.
Oct 19, 2011

I've really enjoyed watching these videos as folks have done them -- fascinating! Your accent is more British than I expected. I feel like I've seen you in a video before and you sounded like you had a much more hybrid Brit-American accent.

I have a totally inconsistent accent -- most of the words on that list I say in multiple ways. I've lived in 8 different states, all over the US, and I'm apparently a magnet for new speech patterns. :-) I'm Midwestern-born, so there's a certain nasal-y Midwestern accent that sneaks in sometimes, especially on words with a long o sound like "nose." I also sometimes say "melk" instead of "milk," despite my best efforts to banish that quirk! And I can't say kitten correctly to save my life -- it comes out more like ki-en. I say "sorry" like a Canadian, apparently (more like sore-e), and use "y'all" with alarming frequency, from having lived in Atlanta and Houston. I describe things as "wicked ____" all the time from living in Boston. And I say ki-ote instead of ki-o-tee for coyote, which apparently is very Montana rancher? Oh, and I call it soda or pop, depending on where I'm at. Soda here in California, pop when I go home to Michigan so folks know what the hell I'm talking about.

Oct 19, 2011

This was all the rage on YouTube a few years ago, so pop over there if you enjoy listening/watching to this meme. There's a really fascinating TED talk about memes, and that is how I learned how to say it (I was saying "me-me" in my head but never wanted to say it aloud because I was pretty sure it was incorrect.

I have the worst accent, it's mostly midwest US, but when I get drunk those damn Scandinavian vowels really rear their ugly heads.

Oct 19, 2011

Love it! Love having your voice to put to the blog.
Ok, so really, it's "meem"? Like, rhymes with "team"? Because I always have pronounced it "mehme" as if it rhymed with "gem" or "treme" like it were a french word or something. Hmm. My "rhymed with" words may be skewed by my southern accent regardless. Ha!

Oct 19, 2011

I loved this. Your accent is perfectly adorable. I always read your blog in an English accent in my head because your writing has that element to it. :)

My husband is British (from Norwich) and has been here so long that he has a hybrid/lazy accent too. He often (pronounced with the "t" heard!) gets confused for being Australian. He changes his accent as well for some things. He pronounces "herbs" in the American accent and "water" as well. He used to say "water" like you, but waiters always asked him "huh?" over and over so he assimilated. I perfected a Mary Poppins accent as a kid and it freaks my husband out more than a little bit when I pull it out :)

Oct 19, 2011

Even though I already knew what you sounded like, this was still fun to watch. Except that at the 10 minute mark the video froze but the sound kept going. So I got to watch you with an awkward facial expression for the remaining three + minutes. Love your accent, love your blue walls, loving your hair. I can't bring myself to do this video because I'm a bumbling fool on camera.

Oct 19, 2011

Holly, I am English, and I think you must know (or have known but forgotten) what the insect that curls into a ball when you touch it is - a woodlouse!!!!! Amirite? I am.

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 19, 2011

A WOODLOUSE! Hmm, you might be right! I have definitely seen a woodlouse, but I'm not sure I knew that it curled into a ball when you touched it (and I definitely haven't ever touched one to find out!) Part of me wants to google this now, and the other part of me is quite happy being able to sleep at night without a clear mental image of a woodlouse in my head.

Oct 19, 2011

Your accent is amazing.

I jumped on the bandwagon with you:

Sarah Meg
Oct 19, 2011

I almost don't want to watch this in case your accent in real life is different than how I read your blog in my head. Like when you watch a book turned into a movie and the characters are different than you imagined. Though I suppose your own accent is actually the correct version in this case.

Amy in StL
Oct 19, 2011

I loved this and now I shall have to search the interwebs for more. I grew up here in St. Louis, Missouri but I've lived in either Iowa or South Carolina for most of my adult life. So my accent is a little northern plains (Think the movie Fargo) and a little long vowel Southern (BTW, Charleston has it's own distinct accent which few people these days have.) and mostly still solidly midwestern. Although here in St. Louis we have our own quirk - we pronounce Forty-Four and the like as Farty-Far. We also put R's in words like wash.

Jan Ross
Oct 19, 2011

Well, I knew it was pronounced meem but I had to inform my husband recently that he did not want "expresso" but "espresso". He was amazed and I have noticed since then that lots of people get this wrong. And I don't even drink the stuff.

Jan Ross
Oct 19, 2011

Oh- and also (don't you hate it when you think of something more after you post) we stayed recently at the Nolitan Hotel in New York and, in my mind, I was pronouncing it Nolitan but it's actually Noleeeeetan. Thank heavens I only pronounced it that way in my head, not in front of the desk clerk.

Oct 19, 2011

"Hemingway... where ever he is..."

I know! I know! He's in Ketchum, Idaho!

Here's his grave!

And the memorial to him!

Wait... is that weird that I posted that? Does it make it any less weird that I know that because I live in Idaho?

Oct 19, 2011

First time commenting here but just had to say I love your accent. I'm Australian and when I've travelled to Europe and England I find myself cringing hearing myself talk - I mean an Aussie accent sticks out like a sore thumb! Well to me anyway.

Oct 19, 2011

Oh! You've been here! I guess I wasn't was reading back then. Now I have to poke through your archives :)

And yes, let's just say we named a bunch of stuff after you. Also, hurray for Maynard's wine gums.

Jenny B
Oct 19, 2011

Hi Holly, I'm a long-time reader of your blog and had to comment because I absolutely love this entry! I'm a linguistics grad student so regional dialects/accents are simply fascinating to me. I'm from NJ, so you can imagine how different my responses were than yours :) Thanks for sharing.

Oct 19, 2011

Just like most people, I don't hear and accent when I read, and never thought of you having an English accent. Too funny. So the bug that turns into a ball is definitely a woodlouse and depending on where you're from and when you were born it's a pill bug, a roll-y poll-y or a doodle bug. I'm from Texas and I call them doodle bugs, my Grandma, also from Texas, calls them pill bugs. I've saw one have a billion babies when I was a kid, won't ever forget it. Coolest thing ever for a 6 year old.

Oct 19, 2011

Oh, and we call the rain thing sun showers. :)

Oct 19, 2011

Just to jump in on the curling-bug item: the woodlouse and the roly-poly are more or less the same thing. Not all woodlice are roly-polies ("roly-poles"?), but all roly-polies are woodlice. The ability to curl up is the determining factor in the terminology. Not that anyone cared. Hee.

The crustacean in question (it's actually not a bug! I am probably a nerd for making the distinction! And by "probably" I mean "definitely"!) is known by an impressive variety of names depending on geography--hence, I suppose the reason behind the question. Some of my favorites are "cheese log," "chuggypig," and "gramersow" (, if anyone's interested).

Anyway, yes. I find accents and, in particular, regional vocabulary endlessly fascinating. (See above re: nerd.) Thanks for sharing yours, Holly!

Sensibly Sassy
Oct 19, 2011

Now that was entertaining-you should make this a regular feature!
The "Honey Buns" bit had me chuckling so hard!
oh and here is my vlog:

Oct 19, 2011

I loved this! I've watched a few of these accent vlogs and I have to say this was the most entertaining. I am also a sucker for English accents, so there's that.

Oct 19, 2011

You sound JUST like the character Marry Poppins! I kept waiting for you to break into "Spoonful of Sugar..."
You're great, Holly!

Oct 19, 2011

I think I did this exact meme - minus the cultural-type questions at the end - about 5 years ago for a group of Japanese grad students studying English accents. It was very strange to hear someone else reading the words out loud - really makes you question the way you speak and if you're saying the words 'correctly'. I went right after the girl from NC and as I was saying the words was SO aware of how Californian I sounded. Now that we live in Texas I'm constantly changing how I say 'pecan'. Sometimes it's 'peekan', sometimes 'pahkahn'...

For what it's worth, the bug (to me) is a pillbug or a roly poly, and the spider is a daddy long legs.

Oct 19, 2011

I love this topic. I went to school in a border town and I was always surprised by the difference in accents between the Canadians (or Ontarians) like me, and the people I would meet from Michigan, who lived only minutes away.

I also made my own video:

Oct 19, 2011

Haven't watched the whole vlog yet (my internet is slow so I've put it to load) but at the beginning, I smiled to hear you say "bunch of bloggers." Sounds like you're picking up some americanisms.
I find this topic fascinating. I lived overseas and taught English with people from a variety of places in the English-speaking world so we had endless conversations on the "right" way to say things. Lots of fun!
I myself am a terrible mix--British mum, American dad, grew up in Canada. I basically sound like a slightly British American until I get around a Brit and then I pick it up w/o meaning to until I can barely speak, I sound so weird to myself. Sigh. But I'm an ESL teacher so I've been trying to embrace my American side so I can teach an American accent.

Oct 19, 2011

Holly, Thanks for doing this! So fun to hear and see you talk! Doesn't match anything in my head at all. I very much love your blog, though, so I'll still continue to read it (though I may keep my original accent for you in my head) :)

Oct 19, 2011

I've never done anything like this before, but after hearing yours, I decided to play along. I'm a Canadian-American, so some people have said my accent is different. Judge for yourselves! :)

Oct 19, 2011

I remember hearing your voice when you did some sort of drawing out of a hat.
I was so shocked. In the back of my head I knew you were English, but it just never occurred to me to give you an accent when I read you.
As an aside, I've always heard that a good linguist can tell where a person is from just by listening to him/her say the word "water."

Oct 19, 2011

They're called pillbugs!

Oct 20, 2011

So you have a way more RP accent than I imagined, even knowing you boarded, I didn't imagine it so RP, but, and maybe you don't notice this, you have 'traveller' inflections, you know the one where your friends been travelling for a while and come back with that hybrid accent - the one where your voice rises at the end of a sentence - but I guess you are a traveller so you ought to have it!
I get the Australian thing though, when I lived in Mammoth everyone would start by asking if I was an Ozzie, Kiwi and then sounded surprised when I said British......

Oct 20, 2011

Interesting! You sound like friends I have in the Arabian Gulf who have gone to British schools. That's a very specific sound, isn't it? On the other hand, you sort of remind me of Emma Watson. (I think it's the elongated ending of sentences that you do.)

And now that I'm married to a Brit I also call it fizzy or a fizzy drink, because when I call it soda (which is what I would normally call it) my mother-in-law gives me soda water. So. The things you learn.

Oct 20, 2011

I think you sound exactly like I expected you to sound, British, like me, and specifically very Home counties.

I always read your posts with an English voice, obviously, and we don't have accents. Everyone else does!

I enjoyed your video, you're funny!

1. What DO people call Sunshine and Rain? I only came up with Rainbow too.

2. Spitting image, as in looks uncannily like?

3. I really dislike Route pronounced ROWT instead of Root, but that's just me I guess!

Oct 20, 2011


Oct 20, 2011

In Australia we don't seem to really have regional accents , at least I can't pick someones hometown by how they talk (except for adelaidians, maybe). Accents seem more of a socioeconomic thing, moreso than geographic.

Oct 20, 2011

you are adorable! and you sound just like I thought you'd sound. if I still had a blog, I would happily do my own accent video, but alas, I am but a mere spectator in this big ol' blogosphere.

also, if it makes you feel better, I called it a "mee-mee" forever until one of my colleagues took pity on me and told me the proper pronunciation. and I work at a big fancy advertising agency. my clients expect me to know these things.


Oct 20, 2011

In my part of the world (Wisconsin), the bugs are called Potato Bugs, and my daughter would be happy to collect a small cupful of them for you to admire. She does this with alarming regularity.

Also? I do pronounce 'sure' and 'shore' differently. I rhyme 'sure' with 'pure', and tend to give it almost a second syllable: "You'd like me to go to a party with you? Why, shu-re!" 'Shore,' on the other hand, rhymes with 'pour': "The party is at the sea shour? Well, great–I'll bring my snorkel!"

I do love your office color.

Oct 20, 2011

I have basically the same accent as you, it seems - fairly standard middle class RP-ish English.

The bug? Don't some woodlice curl into balls?
Fizzy drink, yep. Trainers, but of course.

I pick up accents very easily, although I have reverted to my natural English accent I did have a very strong NZ accent for a few years after living there for four years. I also picked up an American accent during my year in Virginia. I'm like the tofu of accents.

Oct 20, 2011

I don't know if it was because I was paying more attention to it than usual, but your accent seemed "higher" than normal at the beginning of the video, and by the end you sounded more like Regular Holly. Yes? Am I high? (Don't pretend you haven't watched this a dozen times like I did with mine. :) )

Oct 20, 2011

Oh man, you sound so proper and British. I guess I pictured you with less of an accent since you've been in America so long. I love hearing these!

P.S. - There is a definite difference in pronunciation for shore and sure. ;)

Oct 20, 2011

Whoa! Like some of the commenters, I know you were from england, etc. but I still read you with an american accent. I know someone who was from England and created an 'american accent' so us americans wouldn't keep about bothering her to saying certain words or start to emulate an english accent when they start a conversation with her.

Emma Denny
Oct 20, 2011

Now being British I find all these comments very funny! you sound quite British but you definitely have an American twang in there and the intonation is definitely a hybrid!

Oct 20, 2011

rain + sun = sun showers! one of the prettiest weather conditions if you ask me.

Oct 20, 2011

You sound so delightfully Welsh to me! I kept waiting for you to offer to make me an omelette.

Oct 20, 2011

It's so nice to have an actual voice to put with your words! Like everyone has said previously, I knew you said you were from England and had an english accent but I was still reading it like an American…ha

Also, (and I don't know if anyone has pointed this out to you or not considering there are a LOT of comments before mine) the bug that curls up into a ball when you touch it is called a roly-poly. Pronounced like row-lee pow-lee. I used to catch them when I was little and feed them grass, although I don't really know if they actually eat grass or not…they did usually die.


First of all, I still think "Me-me," because - like Sean - I think it's all about me! me! me! Actually, that's where I thought the word originated. I've heard before about the whole "meem" thing, but I've been operating under the willing suspension of disbelief.

As it were.

Or something.

I feel like I should do this thing at some point, but it intimidates me. Maybe after my haircut this weekend...

Oct 20, 2011

Holly, I'm surprised on how you said data! I have an Aussie and a British officemate and we had a debate about this before.. he said it like da-ta (a like in apple) and I pronounce it same way as you do..

Oct 21, 2011

Thanks for the great laugh this morning. I have actually been in a restaurant where when I ordered a Coke, the waitress responded with "coke, sprite..." I was really confused. I hope to read more from you soon.




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Oct 21, 2011

This is great! I haven't heard many British versions of this, but it's very comforting to hear that you pronounce everything just the way I do! (Comforting because I've lived in France for so long I sometimes wonder if my voice is getting that hybrid expat thing you mention - I have British friends who say my intonation has changed and sounds more 'French' now. GAH.)
And no, I say "fizzy drink" too (the one that makes me laugh (but in a nice way, not snarkily) is 'pop'). There are also lots of people saying 'carmel' for 'caramel'...
Oh, and I laughed out loud (good job I work from home with only the cat to hear me) when you said that all Americans have an accent - an American accent - because I think that's exactly what I said. Or, if I didn't say it, it's what I meant to say but I was kind of stressed out by how hideous I look and all the mess behind me when I did mine so I may not have.
Is it a British trait to be so rambly? I find it very hard to be concise - my 'vlog' is only short because I was sooooo uncomfortable doing it...
Anyway, great to hear your voice; you sound pretty much how I imagined you (a bit like me, but a tad 'posher', not at all hybrid transatlantic expat).
OK, I know you're now desperate to watch mine (even though I don't have a lovely blue wall behind me and I'm not wearing lipstick and I don't think I'd even brushed my hair).
One last thing - I'm (help!) over 40 (just) and wouldn't say 'chaps' either, unless I were trying to sound like David Niven or something. And I don't try and do that very often, actually. Never, even.

Oct 21, 2011

I love accents... all of them. I can't DO them (other than deep south)but I like to say that I can. Especially British... I call it my Harry Potter accent, "Put it on..." (poot it awn) is the only thing I know how to say. Oddly nobody thinks it sound British... hmmm!

Oct 21, 2011

I love the blue walls. What an interesting "vlog". I'm about to do it myself and had to jump in and say that where I grew up (South Africa) has a really cool way of describing when rain falls while the sun is shining. It's called a "monkey's wedding". Sorry, I have NO idea why. :)

Oct 22, 2011

Thanks for the great laugh this morning. I have actually been in a restaurant where when I ordered a Coke, the waitress responded with "coke, sprite..." I was really confused. I hope to read more from you soon.

Oct 22, 2011

You inspired me too! You can see a fellow Brit mispronounce New Orleans.

Oct 22, 2011

I might have been inadvertantly under a rock for the last few weeks, but I've never seen an accent vlog before. And so funny that the first one I see -- it sounds like my own voice! Every word on that list, you just said it 'normally'. I guess that's not the point... maybe I should go and watch someone else's.
As a Brit in Texas, married to a Texan, I know just what you mean about thinking one word for something, but calling it something else to be understood. Trolley, I'm prepared to give up, but water is water. I can't even say "wah-duh". And have you met anyone (American) called Kara? I think that noise, "kah-rah" is physically impossible for a Brit to say. Or maybe i'm just vocally challenged.
Anyway, just to warn you, as someone married to an American, the world of baby stuff is fraught with un-understandable words. Nappies, cots, buggies. And the permanent battle to be a Mummy with a 'u', without anyone thinking you're going to emerge from an Egyptian tomb.
Anyway, nice to meet you. I just saw your sixty years of memories and popped over from Pinterest, and now have listened to you for rather a long time!


I went to a pretty international bunch of schools growing up, so I've heard a lot of accents. My favorite is the Brooklyn accent through. There's something about it that makes me weak in the knees. On the other hand, the Long Island accent (yes, they are totally different) cracks me up. I wish the list of words included "drawer" because LI folks say "draw." They also call handbags "pocket-books" but pronounce them "pock-a-book" HILARIOUS.
I cracked up when you said "oil" Holly because to me it sounded like "oh-yo" with no finishing L.

Oct 24, 2011

This is so fun -- I love hearing different accents and regionalisms for words. Also, your lipstick is fantastic! Can you share what color you're wearing?

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