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?
 

91
Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 24, 2011

Thanks, Emily! It's Cover Girl Lipslicks in Daring -- I've been wearing it for five or six years and I still love it. I've written about it here: http://nothingbutbonfires.com/best-thing-ever/cover-girl-lipslick-in-daring

And also here! http://nothingbutbonfires.com/node/262

92
Soso
Oct 24, 2011

You sound exactly as I expected! Accents vary in the U.S., much to my surprise. As for meme, I thought it was pronounced as meh-meh. Incidentally, my husbands mother is meh-meh to her grandkids. I'm told it French for grandmother. Gets on my nerves! Nobody in his family has ever spoken French! MIL has lineage from Canada. So, it's an influence from people in her life. Off track. But, glad it's pronounced as 'meem'. I'll have to look into this accent vlog.

93
samantha jo campen
Oct 24, 2011

THIS IS FABULOUS. Thank you so much for doing this!

And basil, oregano, aluminum really? I had no idea. I might have made you say those words over and over again but I refuse to confirm if this is 100% true.

LOOK AT THAT CHAP'S GLASSES!

94
Tiera
Oct 25, 2011

I loved hearing your accent, I think though I had you in my head sounding like my friend but she is from Essex and sounds a bit different from you. She doesn't annunciate the end of her words for example "what" becomes "wha". I don't know if that is slang or just the area she is from. She also taught me about cockney rhyming slang which just had me in giggles when she game me some examples.
The one thing about accents that always had me puzzled was why do we all sound the same when we sing? There are bands out there that if I didn't hear them in an interview I would have no idea that they are from Ireland for example. That is one of lifes great mysteries to me.

95
Dawn
Oct 25, 2011

Though I have heard you speak before, your accent and voice are simply lovely. Also, I can't believe that I am the first person to comment saying that when the sun shines and it is raining, we call it The Devil Beating His Wife. I am from the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland), and just about everyone I know calls it that! http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=devil%20is%20beating%20hi...

96
Stef
Oct 26, 2011

Yep, I'm from Atlanta, and sun + rain is totally "the devil is beating his wife." Couldn't tell you exactly why, though!

97
Dana
Oct 27, 2011

I'll have to make a video and post it on my flickr =)
My Dad's family is English and his foster family was English with a German mother (my grandma) I called her Oma
pronounced "Oh-Ma".

98
Dana
Oct 27, 2011

Oh here in NJ sun+rain is a sunshower =)

99
Kate
Oct 29, 2011

Im Australian and the word for when its raining and the sun is out is a sun-shower and the bug that rolls into a ball is a slater :)
ps. i love your accent

100
Jessica
Oct 30, 2011

I love a good accent! Being from California, I don't seem to have one. : ( My favorite is a South African accent.
When I was a teen, my best friend and I used to use fake British accents at the shopping mall so the sale clerks wouldn't treat us like juvenile delinquents. And they didn't, they'd be in awe and ask us a lot of questions about where we were from and how cool England sounds. We probably sounded horrible, and would laugh until we peed our pants if we could hear ourselves now. thanks for the lovely blog - and vlog. spasiba

101
Amy
Feb 16, 2012

I just starting reading your blog a few weeks ago so I'm just now see this post :)

I totally want to do this! I'm from Washington State so we say all the good stuff like "pop" instead of soda. Also I never saw anyone else say "tennis shoes" instead of sneakers, that's what we call them even though we don't actually play tennis in them. And I've never heard of a word for the raining while it's sunny thing...

102
Toni
Jan 18, 2013

I'm English and I say New Orleans correctly I have a strong Yorkshire accent too...

P.s you blab on a lot! Haha

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