Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Accenting the Obvious

Because I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, I have somewhat of a Chicago accent.

I like this accent. It’s useful.

I tend to be very direct. I say what I think. A Chicago accent gives me the leeway to be blunt. People south of St. Louis expect Chicago to be full of Pushy Broads, so when I act like one, no big deal.

Living in South Texas, I find that I have to work at keeping my accent. For example:

In South Texas, “Insurance” is pronounced IN-shur-ence. In Chicago, it’s in-SHUR-ence.

In South Texas, “Y’all” refers to a few people. “Alla y’all” refers to many people.
In Chicago, “You guys” refers to a few people. “All you guys” refers to several people.

I find the biggest misunderstandings in restaurants.

When I order a can of pop (pronounced “acanna paap”), I want a Coke Zero. I am frequently asked to clarify.

And for some reason, when I say something simple like “Baked Chicken and Steamed Vegetables”, waiters hear “Chicken Fettuccine with extra Alfredo. And a Tiramisu. With acanna paap.”

Regional differences. Whaddya gonna do?


  1. i was in philly one time and asked for a pop and almost got punched!

  2. I'm from Pennsylvania. I now live in Virginia. The Virginians have CORRUPTED me into saying y'all. I know it's pathetic. I know I'm a yankee. Don't judge me, y'all.

  3. @Nicki - When people here call me a "yankee" I always feel like I need to remind them that I am a Cubbie. Yankees are from New York.

  4. Dear Mary,

    I'm a stranger. I'm a follower. I'm not fat, but I weigh myself every day. Sometimes twice a day. Well, once in a while three times a day but not lately.

    I love your blog and follow your blog. I want you to have a television show, except that I don't watch television, so a syncicated newspaper column would be perfect. I would read it in the Washington Post and there would be a great cartoon to go along with each listing.

    Especially the one with you loosing your pants in Mass.

    Your Fan,

  5. @Diane -- thanks! I appreciate your suggestion. I agree I am more of a book, or column person than a TV person. If we can get a publisher behind it. . . .


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