Last week, some folks at work were talking about the “right way” to pronounce “Colorado”. Is the “a” pronounced like “hat” or like “ah”?
That led someone to share this nifty web app that asks you a bunch of questions about what words you use for things and how you pronounce them, and then attempts to guess where you’re from based on that. The questions were more detailed than I expected. Here’s what the app said for me:
I’m not at all surprised that it guessed Denver, but it did surprise me that it guessed Wichita and Lexington. I’ve never lived anywhere near those places.
Here’s the funny thing. I drew a blue circle on the map to show the area where I’ve lived the past 30 years. But the green circle shows where I was born and learned to talk. Apparently even though I’m not a true Colorado native, I talk like one. And I definitely don’t talk like someone from southeast Texas. At least not anymore.
It’s funny…I never really think I have an accent. Yet I do. I have lived in NC for 15+ years now. And I have definitely adopted some more southern vernacular…but when I catch up with old friends my teenage years, I’m commonly surprised at just how similar our speech patterns are even still. Of course there are some really specific words, like “soda” vs. “pop”…. but the Inflections and pronunciations are also distinct for midwest area where we grew up. I find it striking that I still haven’t lost that accent…and that my old friends and I sound really similar still after all these years. These web sites usually peg me for Detroit right away…typically because of a few distinct words common to that area.
But you spent the first formative 7 years or so in Beaumont and Houston, TX. I’m going to try this test. Wonder if it will think I’m from Kansas!
I was most like those from Stockton and Fremont, CA and Chandler, AZ. Nope
It says I’m from Santa Rosa, about 3 hrs from where I live now!