You all asked a bunch of awesome questions on last week’s post, and in the attempt to answer them all as thoroughly as possible without having a two-thousand word post, I’ve decided to split my answers up into three posts: 1. The Accent Project, 2. Homeschooling (since the majority of your questions fell into this category), and 3. The Rest.

The Accent Project was requested by Val, and it was the one I least looked forward to answering because it required me to video myself, and there is nothing I despise more than seeing myself on camera.

Seriously – I am the most unvideogenic person on the face of the planet.

Plus, I don’t have a webcam, so I can’t see how horrific my mannerisms are while taping so that I can correct them.

But, being the complete wuss creative person that I am, I found a way around my fears…

Part One: The Accent Project

First, Val’s question:

Val – There is a list of words circulating the blogosphere that bloggers read on a video so their readers can get an idea of their accents, how they say certain words and what they call certain things. It’s been neat to get to know some bloggers a little better. Being a California girl, I love hearing southern accents and would LOVE to hear what your accent sounds like. Here is a link to an example of one that I watched. What do you think? Will you do a video for us?

Why yes, Val, I will!  It really does sound like a fascinating experiment, despite my aversions to seeing how painfully-slow and awkward I blink.

Here are a list of the words and questions – these are apparently hand-picked to highlight accents from different regions:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, 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 (Val’s addition: “rather” (Per Val, “because my mom-in-law and I pronounce it so differently and she doesn’t hear it, kinda funny since she grew up in California with a father from Alabama and a mother from Boston, talk about a mix of accents”)

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
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 change the TV channel with?

And, so that I didn’t have to suffer through watching myself on camera, I decided to get Ali to help me with the project, which allows you to hear both of our accents!!

See? A TOTAL win/win!!

(Am I convincing you yet?)

(Ali’s been a bit video-shy lately as well, hence her quiet-and-giggly voice.)

So whaddya think? Do we sound as Southern as y’all thought we would?

Now I want to hear your accents as well! So if you want to make your version of the video and post it on your blog (or just post it in YouTube if you don’t have a blog), link it into the Mister Linky below. Maybe some of you will even be braver than me and actually show your face on camera!

Oh – and if you have more questions, feel free to ask them here or on the original post, and I’ll include them in part two and three of my answers.

39 thoughts on “Answers, Part One: The Accent Project.

  1. I have no idea where this came from, but when I was a child and the sun was shining when it was raining, adults said, “The devil is beating his wife.” Kind of morbid, huh? Had forgotten about that until I saw that question.

  2. To answer Debi’s question, I think it came from the fact that the sun is out (and the sun is hot… kinda like where the devil and his supposed wife would live), and there’s rain (tears from beatin’). Totally politically correct, right?

    1. Yes, If I’d answered that, the questions I would have then had to answer from Ali would have been endless.
      For one, who in their right mind would marry the devil??

    1. Yup – I believe “Spiders are our friends” is a direct quote from one of her Fancy Nancy books. Can I sue Fancy Nancy when Ali picks up a Black Widow?

  3. I’m glad that you did this accent video with Ali! It was when you were talking back and forth with her that we get to hear your cute Southern accent (I’m a California girl like Val). I always find it interesting to hear localisms.

    I know that we get teased for saying “hella” and “hecka” a lot in Northern California. I also get teased by my husband for saying An-tan-ah instead of Antenna. Supposedly my A’s are wonky from my parents growing up in the Central Valley where a lot of Southerners moved during the Dust Bowl.

  4. I’ve never heard the devil phrase. Rain with sun is just normal around here. Of course, being a first generation Floridian, I’m more likely to say something with a hispanic accent than a southern one. :) I do still have my southern moments though. Y’all want some coke?

  5. I say many words different from you and we grew up in the same general area…not sure what that means. It’s funny because you have no accent at all to me. But people who are not from the south can hear an accent.

  6. I don’t hear your accent either! It’s funny though – I lived outside the south for several years and folks would hear my accent from the moment I opened my mouth. But when I came back to Birmingham to visit, my family said I sounded like a Yankee. After awhile I did loose most of my accent, but non-southerers would still comment on my word choice – like how I say “fixin’ to,” and “might should.” Of course my true Southern roots took a strong hold again as soon as I moved back home, although I still don’t say “tawl” (owl with a “t”) for towel or “ull” for oil like my dad and grandmothers do.

    Now, my family laughs at how River says certain words (“like a northerner!”) and Tim’s mom (who is originally from Boston) says he sounds just like my family (i.e, very southern or “country”). River and I may have to post a video like you and Ali did. My “Yankee” FB friends would surely get a kick out of it!

  7. I’m down south too in Louisiana, so y’all talk “normal” to me. :) I grew up in Florida until we moved here when I was in high school. I distinctly remember my first encounter with a southern (mis)pronounciation. A new friend and I were sitting outside on a hot day when she said she needed some ‘ass-cream’. I was a bit alarmed by her openess, having just met her. She repeated this several times because I wasn’t sure I’d heard her correctly. Finally it clicked that she wanted ICE-cream!! As of now, I accurately understand the local language, but I refuse to speak it. :D

  8. Since I have actually met you I remember you accent, but it was cute listening to you and Ali. My accent is actually pretty thick for a native Floridian but I think that is because my relatives all come from Georgia and the panhandle of Florida (close to the Alabama border). People laugh at how I say some words. Like iron, and tire.

  9. Most of your answers I have to agree with wholeheartedly. But my Oregonian husband taught me a fun (and more child-appropriate) answer for when it’s sunny and raining: liquid sunshine! =)

  10. Can you even imagine me doing the accent test. It would be a disaster for sure. The only word you said funny to me is pajamas. And the spider to me is a grandaddy longlegs. The video was great.

  11. I am absolutely convinced I have no accent. Despite spending the years all over the country (I KNOW y’all sneaks in a little more from our time in Oklahoma…..) and a southern boy husband and now noticing differences in how I talk from my parents… I have no accent! Lol, I might have to go video tape me talking to the mirror, so the world can boldly declare otherwise.

  12. Even hearing my answers in my own head, I know there is a distinct mid-western accent whether i want to admit it or not. I loved your idea of taping your daughter, great idea to stay out of the actual camera view… I may need to use that! ;)

  13. Love a southern accent! I have family from South Carolina transplanted to Atlanta so whenever they came to visit we had a blast listening to them. Plus, I am from Minnesota, so we did the “you have an accent, I don’t” thing constantly. Then I move to AZ and people would ask me to say certain words. What?! When I go back home I hear the accent and can’t believe I sounded like that! I think I have dropped most of it, but I do catch myself saything things “Minnesotan”.

  14. What a fun idea! I have never heard of an accent video, but I might have to try it with K. I remember a similar list of words from my lingustics class in college. I found it so interesting. We even charted different pronuciations and you could see the colors (pronuciations) changing as you went across the map of the country.

    It’s funny, but I don’t hear that much of an accent on your video, but when we talked on the phone I really heard it! And I loved it! I wish I still had my southern accent but I have been in the north far too long. I do love a good southern accent!

    Oh but the “rolling a house” I have never heard of and I thought calling your grocery cart a “buggy” was a Canadian thing! I can’t believe how much older Ali looks in this video! Maybe it’s b/c her hair is getting longer but she looks a lot older than the last video I’ve seen!

  15. This is AWESOME – I think we sound seriously alike! I am going to do this with my girls – too cute… the only two differences – I say pa-jaw-mas – pa-jam-as sounds northern to me – LOL and I say cart vs. buggy! :)

  16. Rachel, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for saying Salmon the right way!! That is one of my biggest annoyances when people say saL-mon. Ali is precious!

  17. oh, I’m gonna hafta do this, but I need to wait until Brett isn’t around…he will sit there staring at me with a goofy grin and get me all flustered and laughing…

  18. I’m gonna try to do this with Jack!!! So fun! I put Ali on full screen and said, “Hey Jack, you want to see Ali?” Jack dropped his ipad like a hot potato (not literally or I would have been quite upset!) and came running. So far I’ve just got video of the back of his head while he sat quite still and silent watching Ali. Oh well…..maybe a few more times of watching Ali do it…..

  19. I’m so glad you did this, this was fun. I’ve never heard of rolling a house and my hubby is from England so I thought a buggy was a stroller not a grocery cart. I’m from California but I live in Utah and some of the word that drive me nuts are creek (pronounced crick), pop (I call it soda not Coke and not pop) but I am ok with soda pop…

    I’ve never heard of the Devil beating his wife and I have no idea what else people call gym shoes or Daddy Long Leg Spiders.

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