Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pahking the Cah in Havahd Yahd

Yesterday I heard a couple of men speaking in Boston accents. And I mean, accents of the deepest dye. It wasn't just a gentle inflection. It was like the guys on This Old House times TEN. I know it's kind of a low-brow sound, but for some reason, it warmed my heart in a peculiar way. I enjoy listening to a deep Southern accent; MidWestern and Canadian accents crack me up. I love accents from New Zealand or Ireland or Scotland. But there's something about that Boston sound that makes me smile like nothing else. And it's all the weirder because I don't talk like that. Nobody could guess that's where I spent my formative years. As evil and expensive and liberal and depraved as Taxachusetts may be, it will always be my home.

In these days of homogenization and frantic, random migrational movement, when the world has shrunk because travel is so convenient and affordable, it's really quite something to still have a distinguishing mark in the form of ones' tongue. Just by the way you say simple words like "car", "doll", "about", "father" or "shibboleth", many times people can generally guess - often with some degree of accuracy but with a few exceptions of course- where you were born and raised.

10 comments:

ljmax said...

Yup, and a true Boston accent is hard to get right...hollywood generally fails badly.
I've noticed a little Michigan speak in some of Ethan's words...the glory of Gad.

KJ said...

HURRAY! I heard Click & Clack the car guys on the radio the other day and what a joy it was to hear ye ol' Boston accent in FL!

And annoyingly enough (speaking of accents and figuring out where people are from accordingly) people down here keep asking if I'm from Canada! Ah well... About, abooot...

Kristi said...

"Taxachusetts" - ha ha! Thanks to a certain Kennedy, right?

I'm sure Washington must be somewhere in second place as far as liberality and all that. But we don't have interesting accents, alas.

Sojourning said...

Bless you for mentioning the shibboleth! Ha! It made me smile!

TripleNine said...

Every now and then you get a homogenized person, and you can't help but crack up when they start talking. Every third word is in a different accent, and you have no idea which words are going to sound like what. Great fun.

Janzelle said...

I love to sing "Aaaar Gaaaaad is an Aaasome Gaaaaad" and "Aaaaar Gaaaad Reigns" as only a Michigander can.

I overheard a Boston talker yapping away in the wee hours of the morn when we were camping a few weeks ago. As annoyed as I was, I found my heart warmed in a peculiarish way as well.

asaphat said...

Oh, boy, you should listen to Howie Carr online! I was just noticing with a smile how, unlike Rush or any other nationally syndicated talk show host, every single caller to Howie Carr is died-in-the-wool Bostononian. Accents as thick and annoying as you possibly can find all in one place at once (except maybe in Boston).

DJ said...

glad it warms YOUR heart :-)

lis said...

You're right about "Sorry," KJ - that one gets me put firmly in the Canadian camp, time after time! Even by a Scandinavian!

But 999 is right too, since I also break out into broad Pennysylvania Dutch from time to time. :O)

lis said...

(Not to mention that lovely Israeli thinking noise - ehhhhh.)