Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hoosier accents: North vs. South

I'm from northern Ohio, in the area called the Firelands of the Western Reserve. Settlers came from Connecticut and founded towns like Norwalk (where my parents now live), New London (where I went to high school), New Haven, Plymouth, Greenwich. So the accent where I come from is pretty solidly Midwest, or Midland, with an East Coast influence.

When I moved to northern Indiana, I can't say I noticed a big difference--a few "kew-pons" for "coupons" and "warshing machines" for "washing machines."

But travel just a little south, and it's a different story--say, Hartford City. 

I call it the Hoosier Drawl.

My husband's extended family has it, and when I read this article in Sunday's Journal-Gazette, I see that it's the southern shift affecting Blackford County residents. 

Sometimes I wonder how American accents sound to people around the world--how do the difference in East Coast, Southern, or General American sound to a Brit? I know I can tell gross differences in British accents, say, Cockney from upper crust, but I'm not sure beyond that.

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