Who is Carole Bayer Sager?
Reed John wrote:
The link here
's Middlesbrough page - which I can't listen to, as my browser's not letting me install Realplayer 10.5.
When I lived in the South, I could always tell where another Southerner was from by their accent. Texas was very different from South Carolina, Georgia was nothing like north Louisiana, etc. Now that I've lived away from there for so many years, I honestly couldn't tell which state someone was from based on their accent.
But it still bothers me when I watch films set in the South--especially those set in my home state. They hardly ever get the accents right.
Right now, the only regional accents I hear (that I can identify) are eastern Massachusetts, western New York state, south Jersey/eastern Pennsylvania and NYC metro. And Maryland.
I think my own accent is a jumble of Louisiana, Boston, NYC and general American. No one around here is ever able to guess where I am from. I like that.
I don't have an accent. I'm local.
Jesus, listen to those Shetlanders.
A few interesting posts from an amateur linguist's blog, speculating that there is a new non-rhotic accent developing among hipsters and young people in an area of LA:
He also writes about Pasadena's specific accent:
There are certain common patterns across the North of England and the Scots Lowlands. You don't need to look for an Irish link, especially as those patterns you seem to see are not even coincident with the largest Irish populations. Occam's razor, and all that...
By the way, that TV Tropes page is fascinating. the first time I found it I was stuck there for hours.
Well, it's obviously rubbish if it's suggesting in absolute terms. Maybe not if we're talking proportionally.
Plus, what with us being an immigrant place, it's possible that people gave up their immigrant identity more easily than other places, and identified as part of the new.
When I used to do a lot of work in the Boro area I noticed it had a shitload of Catholic schools so I took it from that that the area had a largish Irish diaspora.
It gets hard to distinguish between personal speech quirks and community ones the more "micro" you go, I'd imagine. I feel like there is a difference between Long Island and New Jersey accents, but I wouldn't want to put money on being able to distinguish between them.
As we already talked about, there definitely was a San Francisco accent at one time, but it seems to have died out for the most part. Though of course a new one might be emerging.
The LA thing is especially interesting, because there have been people here who believe that the Long Island/New Jersey accents are increasingly influenced by "Valley Girl" (and, indeed, that there is some evidence of "Mallspeak" throughout the country).
That said, his assertion that people in San Francisco sound more like Philly or Baltimore has left me scratching my head. The Baltimore accent in particular is quite distinctive, and nothing like what people sound like in SF.
Philly, maybe, since that often sounds (to me) like a sort of unplaceable Northeastern accent. But Baltimore always makes me think of those rounded vowels, which you never hear outside of that region stretching from the mid-Atlantic toward Pittsburgh and parts of Appalachia.
I'm guessing Philly and Baltimore are his idea of "East Coast accents that aren't as obvious as New York or Boston".
The San Francisco accent definitely still exists - I have it - but, being blunt, you gotta be white. It's similar to Boston, New York, Philly, and New Orleans in the sense that it's the sound you get when you stuck Irish, Italians, Germans, a handful of Eastern Europeans, all Catholics, and some Jews and blacks. You adjust the ratios a bit - SF's rather light on Jews, for example - but they all sound like they come from the same family.
I'm not sure where the Chinese community (much less the Latino community) comes into this, but I sound more like Angela Alioto than Cher Horowitz .
Interestingly a lot of Asian friends I know, most of whom are first or second generation immigrants, sound way more "Valley".
Edit: You know what SF sounds like? People from the larger towns of southern Connecticut. A lot of people think my parents are natives, and southern CT has exactly that mix I described above.
Ask him if he knows Don Russo, the Mare of North Beach.
The difficulty among young people is that there are very few young native San Franciscans of any race, much less young white natives who have multi-generation roots in the City or had the proper exposure to it as kids to pick it up like I did*.
But those who qualify do tend to have it. I doubt it's as pronounced as somebody like Joe DiMaggio or Joe Cronin, but it's definitely not stereotypically Californian.
* My nan, who is not related to me but is in effect my grandma, is Irish. Her kids sound like Irish Angela Aliotos, live in a huge house in the Castro and know everybody. I went to a little Catholic school in Noe Valley that drew very heavily from the surrounding area and about 2/3rds of the students were Irish, with the rest being Italian or German. It was the ideal incubation for producing an accent like mine.
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