01 December 2006


In case you hadn't noticed (I hadn't), the online quiz phenomenon seems to have mutated a bit. I ran across this one about 'American accents' the other day, on a blog that was discussing how ridiculous Americans are for thinking they have 'no accent'. From previous posts, you know I both agree with this specific claim (about the ridiculousness) and also find the general discussion interesting.

However, I was not expecting these results:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Boston

You definitely have a Boston accent, even if you think you don't. Of course, that doesn't mean you are from the Boston area, you may also be from New Hampshire or Maine.

The West

The Midland

North Central

The Northeast

The Inland North


The South

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


Rebecca said...

I'm 'The midlands', proving that Sam's test is completely correct. I think. Or something. Although I'm not from PA, OH, MO, or any of those 'normal accent states', and I do take umbrage with the idea that Pennsylvanians have no accent.

Ruth said...

I took a similar, but more comprehensive, quiz like this about a year ago. Don't remember what the results were then, but this came out as "northeast" -- which isn't that surprising, given that my mother used to withhold oranges from me when I was a child until I asked for them properly, as "AH-ran-jes."

And yet my Western friends assure me that I have a midwestern accent...

sageblue said...

I'm with Rebecca...meaning that we are correct and the rest are freaks.

See here

tenaciousmcd said...

Mine said "You don't have an accent," and went on to say, "You have a good voice for radio or TV." (I suspect Rebecca's said the same thing.) So doesn't that make the premise of this post incorrect?

Transient Gadfly said...

This thing claims I too have a midlands accent, which is bunk. As everyone knows my accent is Indian-Irish-Minnesotan. We're from Dublin, but we migrated from Bangalore, dontchaknow.

Sam said...

tmcd: couldn't tell if you were joking or not. But in case you weren't then I'd answer your question by saying, 'no, it just makes the quiz people wrong'. This thing they are calling 'the midlands' accent might be somewhere close to 'neutral' in the states. But really, just listen to English spoken somewhere else for a while (and with a number of wildy different accents) and it becomes painfully clear that Tom Brokaw has an accent.

In an average day I hear English spoken with Welsh accents (north and south) half a dozen different English accents (north, oxfordshire, london, birmingham, others I can't identify), Swedish, German, Indian and Irish accents. And out of all of that, I think many people would say my accent stands out more than most. I know that it's always the American accent in one of my tutorials that sounds the harshest to my ears.

Indeed, some say that people never think of themselves as having an accent, but I'm no longer sure. When I hear an American accent now, it doesn't sound to me the way I sound to myself in my head (if that makes any sense).

Tarn said...

Hmm. I too have a Midlands accent, though growing up my sister was damned determined to break me of my easily-headed-toward Philly accent (otherwise called Balmoron). What's interesting is Philadelphia was leading in my Midlands spread.

dan said...

Good find, good find.

My people are from Maryland, but not Baltimore, which is kind of distinct. But there is definitely a Maryland accent, and I hear it most when I hear my dad's answering machine message. Every once in a while I shock myself with a very MD pronunciation, but I generally try to avoid it. I wonder if I reviewed our old Beta home videos from my youth if I'd have an accent.

My quiz results were "no accent," but the runners up were southern and Philly (which is probably closest to Bmore). I agree with that, both because I think that the MD accent is influenced by its Northern and Southern neighbors, and on a personal note my Dad's family is from North Carolina and Texas.

I have heard some crazy accents out of PA, which are much like Western MD and parts of Delaware. Does anyone know what I'm referring to? It's quite distinct and really kind of ugly.

I love playing the game where I talk about someone's accent and then they say "but, I don't have an accent...you do!" And I'm like "no, actually, I just talk, but you talk all funny." Always get a rise out of Southerners and Europeans. "You Northerners/Americans think you're so much better!" Ha ha!

Lingual Mania(h) said...

So does this mean that Sam is the only person we know who has an accent? (I was also told no accent/go work in radio or TV.) Or that he's the only one with any flavor and the rest of us are boringly "neutral?" Do we celebrate or cry?