Thursday, June 6, 2013

Y'all or you guys?

 A couple of people tweeted links to this article 22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other. I found this endlessly fascinating and spent some time looking at the survey page that contains all the maps. It reminds me of the show "How the States got Their Shapes." It's interesting to learn about the small differences between regions. It's interesting to me for many reasons. But the main one is how I pronounce words or the phrases I use. Do I sound more like an Oklahoman where my parents are from or like a Louisianan where I am from or do I have some of my husband's Massachusetts pronunciations? Judging from these maps it is mostly like other Louisianans. But there are a few words or phrases where I sound more like my parents or like my husband. My pronunciation of "aunt" changes depending on whether I am referring to one of my own (ant) or one of his (ahnt). The same goes for ottoman though that is not one of the survey questions. I had never heard of the word "hassock" until a few year ago. It's funny because even though he has lived down here longer than he lived up there he still pronounces a few words like a Northerner. I think it is all about how you originally learn to speak. Because I can't remember him even saying y'all and I don't know how to say anything else (well that is not strictly true because sometime I throw out a "you guys" like they do in Oklahoma). It makes me wonder how our kids will pronounce words. I assume that they, like me, will do regional pronunciations. I do wonder though about the difference between Mary/merry/marry. He is going to have to explain that one to me.

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