Just for fun today, what American accent do you have? I bet this quiz will nail you as well as it did me:

The Inland North

You may think you speak “Standard English straight out of the dictionary” but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like “Are you from Wisconsin?” or “Are you from Chicago?” Chances are you call carbonated drinks “pop.”

It so happens, that I was thinking about accents this morning, because I was listening to a podcast with Ricky Gervais and his two friends Steve Merchant and Karl Pilkington (mp3 directly downloadable from here).  I made guesses as to where in England each of them came from by their distinct accents.  Checking on the web, I was wrong (but close) on all three counts.  I bet T-bird would get at least 2/3.  She can distinguish an Aussie from a Kiwi at 50 paces (not to mention being able to recognize Doc Martens that are about three pixels worth of digital photo).

(Hat tip to Shtetl-Optimized (while you’re my new favorite geek playground, check out this parable of computational complexity as “quantitative theology”))


6 Responses

  1. My Result: The West
    My accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless I’m a SoCal surfer, which I’m not, no one thinks I have an accent. And really, I may not even be from the West at all, I could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta — which kinda makes sense given that I was an Army brat who grew up on military bases all over, from Oklahoma to Hawaii to Virginia to Alabama to New Jersey to Texas.

  2. My result was “midland”. Which is wrong, they think i am from indiana or something. However my place of employment is on Midland Rd. Very amazing.

    They also say I have a good voice for Radio or TV which is cool because my primary function is as a public speaker.

    Basically I have the least accent an American can have, so i have to speak in slang to identify me as a southern Californian, Dude.

  3. They also say I have a good voice for Radio

    I have always maintained that you have a great face for radio…

  4. Inland North here

    …Obviously, there are ways you can “juke” the test, but I tried to be honest in my answers. I have lived 4 or more years in Southern Cal, Minnesota and Texas, and of the three, I thought Californians had the least of what we would call a regional accent.

  5. Nailed me. Inland North. Funny, they didn’t say anything about me and radio. Great….23 years down the drain… And I talk good, too. :)

  6. I got inland north too, but as I’m from Chicago, I never find that question annoying, but flattering. *blush*

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