Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to talk normal...

1980s and 1990s--the kids at HC often saw it as their mission to teach me--or at least try to persuade me--to talk normal, meaning Northeastern.  This would cause me a fright bc as I would tell them I don't want to sound nasal like you. In the early years, North Jersey, NY and South Jersey all sounded the same; now they don't but they all still sound nasal and somewhat cacophonus.  Carl never sounded that way to me ; maybe because his dad was from Iowa, but his Mom sounded very North Jersey, Perth Amboy to me.  Despite student urgings and later the urgings of my daughter when she hit 6th grade, I have never wanted to learn to talk Northern.  I once said the more you push , the more Southern I can and will sound.  Mr. Merkel was astonished to hear I was from Ky, while Mr. Palladino who is quite intelligently married to a Ky woman was not.  I said to Mr. Merkel in a Shelbyville, Ky accent, "You mean you thought I was going to talk like this." Sorry you can't hear it on the page but he said yes. I said, "Wrong part of the state. Close to Louisville but I have the university/city Southern accent and not that Shelbyville one."  Although the Dante professor who was truly Italian thought I sounded the same as someone from Shelbyville and we both patiently explained that no matter what his ears were telling him, our accents were quite different.


  1. New Jersey has more accents than you can shake a stick at. Where I grew up, Perth Amboy was considered "South Jersey!"

  2. I know when I came I thought there was one and then later I realized there were many. Same as in Kentucky. There are the more country ones and the more city ones but there are really more than two, even Louisville has two. The one I have and the one that sounds less citified or something anyway.