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U.S. Maps of Varying Pronunciations

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
http://www.businessinsider.com/22-maps-that-show-the-deepest-linguistic-conflicts-in-america-2013-6?op=1

I posted a picture (the one about soda/pop/coke) in another thread, and since we have so many people from different parts of the country, it might be interesting to discuss some. Maybe point out some of the ones where you differ from your region.

Obviously, our non-U.S. friends can jump in in they'd like with their pronunciations.











































post #2 of 82

It was fun going to the east coast and say, 'What type of pop do you have', then have the waitress just stare at you wondering what the hell you just asked about.

post #3 of 82
Having spent the first 20 years of my life in upstate NY and the last 15 years here in MB, SC it's funny to see the differences. I did not realize the term "sneakers" was such a limited regional term.
post #4 of 82

Very interesting.

 

I've always been puzzled as to why people say "car-mel" rather than "car-a-mel".

And the silent h in "herbs".

I am also irritated by Matt Kuchar's accent  - he has the Jimmy Stewart thing going on. Is that a New England characteristic?

 

My current quest, though is to discover why so many Americans write "then" when they mean "than". Do they think the words are interchangeable?

 

 

And.... 2 points for people who say "proNUNciation" and detention if you said "proNOUNCiation", even though Jamo got it right. :-)

post #5 of 82

I cop a fair bit of grief due to my accent and pronunciation...

 

post #6 of 82
Absolutely fantastic, Jamo!! As a native Californian married to a New Yorker, a lot of these are very familiar to me. First and foremost, Mary/merry/marry. She makes fun of me all the time for not differentiating between the 3, and its nice to know that she's actually the weirdo. ;) Also applies to Sheri (her name incidentally) and Shari.

Was also happy to inform her that its only her happy little (Long) island that calls sub sandwiches "hero's.". Oh, and we've had the tennis shoes vs. sneakers argument several times too. I guess she won that one because i actually find myself saying sneakers a lot more often now.

A couple others not on the list ... Her dad likes to order "rawr" onions on his burgers sometimes. I've had to translate for the waiter before. They will pronounce orange with one syllable and with an "a" like "arnge."

For the most part, my wife's remaining accent is very minor. However, for some reason our barely talking 2 year daughter pronounces the word "bear" like she grew up in Brooklyn (think Marisa Tomei in my cousin vinny) ... "Be-ah" :)
post #7 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Absolutely fantastic, Jamo!! As a native Californian married to a New Yorker, a lot of these are very familiar to me. First and foremost, Mary/merry/marry. She makes fun of me all the time for not differentiating between the 3, and its nice to know that she's actually the weirdo. ;) Also applies to Sheri (her name incidentally) and Shari.

Was also happy to inform her that its only her happy little (Long) island that calls sub sandwiches "hero's.". Oh, and we've had the tennis shoes vs. sneakers argument several times too. I guess she won that one because i actually find myself saying sneakers a lot more often now.

A couple others not on the list ... Her dad likes to order "rawr" onions on his burgers sometimes. I've had to translate for the waiter before. They will pronounce orange with one syllable and with an "a" like "arnge."

For the most part, my wife's remaining accent is very minor. However, for some reason our barely talking 2 year daughter pronounces the word "bear" like she grew up in Brooklyn (think Marisa Tomei in my cousin vinny) ... "Be-ah" :)

The sneakers/tennis shoes one is one I never really understood. I get that what we now consider sneakers started out as a need for lightweight, comfortable shoes to play tennis in, but there are so many different types of sneakers now. Calling them all "tennis shoes" makes it annoying when you specifically have to point out actual shoes that are made for tennis. It would be like if we just decided to call al sneakers "basketball shoes."

Some other notes:

-I'm surprised how definitive the caramel one is. I think I pronounce it both ways with regularity.
-It's "cray-awn." C'mon now, people.
-I tend to just call it "slaw."
-"Man-aze."
-"PEE-can."
-I tend to say "crawfish." Maybe I watch too much Food Network?
-Generally "rotary," but I've said "roundabout" occasionally. Does the rest of the country even have them?
-I'll alternate between "bubbler" and "water fountain." That graph surprised me. I always assumed "bubbler" was more North Shore MA than Rhode Island.
-How have none of you ever heard of a sunshower?
-Don't really have a "the city." I just like to be more specific.
-I'm aware of brew-thrus, so I think if someone asked me that survey question I would have said that, but it doesn't come up in daily conversation.
-Marry/Mary/merry all that same for me.
post #8 of 82

In my world sneakers are usually called running shoes but sometimes I'll hear sneaker.

 

Roundabouts are definitely roundabouts.

 

How about Bay-sil and Bah-sil for the herb (or 'erb) basil?

 

We don't have brew-thrus but if we did they would be called "awesomes" a3_biggrin.gif Mind you, I'm from a place where you can buy beer anywhere that has a fridge, including gas stations!.

post #9 of 82

1. Been = "Bin"

2. Caramel = Car-a-mel, hence that "a" right there in the middle. Carmel is an affluent area of North California

3. Bowie = "Boo-ey", his name was pronounced that way, so I don't see why the knife named after him should be any different

4. Crayon = "Cray-ahn"

5. Coleslaw - yes you can call it slaw, just like you can call a sedan a car. All coleslaw is slaw, but not all slaw is coleslaw. Know what I mean?

6. Lawyer = "Law-yer" - seems pretty straight forward

7. Addressing a group of people - "y'all" and I say it a lot

8. Mayonaise = "Man-aze" - too many syllables, so we cut a few out

9. Pajamas = growing up, it was always "Pa-jah-mas", but when I moved to Baton Rouge, I noticed all my NOLA friends said "pa-jam-ahs"

10. Pecan = "Puh-cahn" - if you say it any other way, I scoff at you. If you say "pee-can pray-leen", I will break your face.

11. Soft drinks = Coke. Everything's a Coke. Or a cold drink. But then cold drink could be tea or lemonade as well...

12. Crawfish - there is no other acceptable way to say this. Louisiana produces about 90% of the US crawfish supply. I think we know what to call 'em.

13. Roundabout - I also say traffic circle sometimes, but in Baton Rouge (which is the first place I came across one) it was roundabout.

14. Syrup - "Sir-up" - "Seer-up" sounds stupid.

15. Sandwich - Po-boy or sub

16. Water fountain

17. Tennis shows or running shoes

18. Highway or interstate

19. Sunny and raining - not a specific term that I use very often, even though it happens pretty frequently. I like the term "sunshower" so I might integrate that.

20. "The City" = New Orleans

21. Drive through liquor store - I call those "awesome", or more frequently "beer barn"

22. Mary/merry/marry - All three are different (I think). Now I just feel like an idiot sitting here saying "Mary", "Merry", "Marry" out loud.

 

post #10 of 82

Interesting to see everyone's take on this. My uncle actually brought up the same article with our extended family around the dinner table about 2 weeks ago and we had a long and hilarious argument about all of this. 

 

The one I'm still perplexed about is how Merry/Mary/Marry could be 3 different pronunciations. Makes no sense to me! b5_confused.gif

post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by butt3r3dt0ast View Post

The one I'm still perplexed about is how Merry/Mary/Marry could be 3 different pronunciations. Makes no sense to me! b5_confused.gif

 

Three different words, three different pronunciations.

post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

 

Three different words, three different pronunciations.

Three different words, yes. But how are they pronounced differently? The article doesn't actually show the three pronunciations... Can you tell me how you'd pronounce each? Just curious. 

post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post


The sneakers/tennis shoes one is one I never really understood. I get that what we now consider sneakers started out as a need for lightweight, comfortable shoes to play tennis in, but there are so many different types of sneakers now. Calling them all "tennis shoes" makes it annoying when you specifically have to point out actual shoes that are made for tennis. It would be like if we just decided to call al sneakers "basketball shoes."

Some other notes:

-I'm surprised how definitive the caramel one is. I think I pronounce it both ways with regularity.
-It's "cray-awn." C'mon now, people.
-I tend to just call it "slaw."
-"Man-aze."
-"PEE-can."
-I tend to say "crawfish." Maybe I watch too much Food Network?
-Generally "rotary," but I've said "roundabout" occasionally. Does the rest of the country even have them?
-I'll alternate between "bubbler" and "water fountain." That graph surprised me. I always assumed "bubbler" was more North Shore MA than Rhode Island.
-How have none of you ever heard of a sunshower?
-Don't really have a "the city." I just like to be more specific.
-I'm aware of brew-thrus, so I think if someone asked me that survey question I would have said that, but it doesn't come up in daily conversation.
-Marry/Mary/merry all that same for me.

Yeah, the logic behind calling them all tennis shoes is not very sound, mind you, it's just what we do. ;)  Although, like I said, I am being turned to the dark side and will say sneakers a lot more often now.

 

Notes on your notes:

-Caramel ... yup, me too, I say it both ways.  Similar to this is Jag-wire and jag-you-are. ;)

-Cray-awn.  Duh!

-Cole slaw.

-Always was man-aze, but as an adult I tend to try to pronounce it with 3 syllables more often.

-We don't have many of them, but they are around, and are popping up more frequently in newer neighborhoods.  I say traffic circle.

-Never neard the term "bubbler" until this thread, believe it or not.  Use 'water' and 'drinking' interchangably.

-Sunshower?  Yeah, never used that term either.  The term I use is "Holy s**t, it's raining AND the sun is out!!!"

-No "city" here either.  Another term I think is exclusive to new york ... kind of the opposite of "the city" is "upstate."  Any other states use that term?

-Never heard of a brew-thru before.  Of course, like Ernest, we can get liquor almost anywhere out here so not really necessary.  Was fascinated to learn that liquor in NY (and maybe other east coast states??) is ONLY sold in special liquor stores.

-I had a very mary time when I went to the wedding and see mary mary tom.  See?  We don't even need the different spellings!!! ;)  [In all seriousness though, and in response to butteredtoast ... when you hear an east coaster pronounce the words, you will hear that they definitely do have different pronunciations]

 

Here's another ...  Those weirdo NY'ers like to go to the bank or grocery store (scuse me ... "market") and stand ON line to wait to checkout.  I prefer to stand in line.  What about the rest of you?

 

Oh, and growing up, my female relatives always carried "purses", but my wife and her family always had "pocketbooks."

post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by butt3r3dt0ast View Post

Three different words, yes. But how are they pronounced differently? The article doesn't actually show the three pronunciations... Can you tell me how you'd pronounce each? Just curious. 

It's a lot more subtle than the rest ... not sure if you can explain it visually.  But if you heard them say the words, you would definitely notice. ;)

post #15 of 82

Gym shoes = takkies.

 

Soda = cooldrink.

 

Hoagie = gatsby*.

 

Sunshower = monkey's wedding.

 

Crawfish = prawn.

 

(* Although to be a proper gatsby, there must be french fries (which we would call chips) in the sandwich itself. And lots of hot sauce.)

 

post #16 of 82

Not given options for:

 

1. Drive through liquor store is commonly referred to as a "beer barn."

2. A crayon is prounounced "crown."

post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

Gym shoes = takkies.

 

Soda = cooldrink.

 

Hoagie = gatsby*.

 

Sunshower = monkey's wedding.

 

Crawfish = prawn.

 

(* Although to be a proper gatsby, there must be french fries (which we would call chips) in the sandwich itself. And lots of hot sauce.)

 

That sub looks delicious.  But if you asked me if I wanted to grab a cooldrink and a gatsby after a round, I'd probably think you were propositioning me.

post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

 

My current quest, though is to discover why so many Americans write "then" when they mean "than". Do they think the words are interchangeable?

 

 

And.... 2 points for people who say "proNUNciation" and detention if you said "proNOUNCiation", even though Jamo got it right. :-)

 

We went through a phase where the English language got butchered in the name of "no child left behind". I think the usage of "then" versus using "than" became acceptable during that time.

 

 

Interesting that I still talk as if I came from MD rather than CA even though I have lived in CA for more than 85% of my life.

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