James’s Musings

thoughts, photography, and geeky stuff
from an unrelentingly curious Silicon Valley entrepreneur

Proof: I Really *AM* From New York City!

by James G. Beldock on August 5, 2007

I moved to California in 2001, af­ter hav­ing com­mut­ed every cou­ple of weeks from New York since 1999. Ever since then, and even be­fore then when­ev­er I would trav­el out­side of New York City, peo­ple tell me that I couldn’t pos­si­bly be from New York City, be­cause I don’t have a New York ac­cent.

Well, hah! Finally, I have “sci­en­tific proof” (or at least one linguist’s cor­rob­o­ra­tive test re­sults) which prove that I’m a New York City na­tive. According to Tom Kun’s very in­ter­est­ing American Regional Accent Map:

What American ac­cent do you have?
Created by Xavier on Memegen.net

You’re prob­a­bly from some­where near New York City, pos­si­bly north Jersey, or Connecticut or Rhode Island. If you are from New York City you may be one of the types who peo­ple nev­er be­lieve when you say you’re from New York.

So it turns out there is more than one New York Accent. According to Kun, there is an­oth­er vari­ant of the fa­mous “fugged­abou­dit” New York ac­cent. Here is Kun’s ex­pla­na­tion:

Q: How did you know I was from New York City when I don’t have an ac­cent?
This is the best part of avoid­ing stereo­types and fo­cus­ing on ob­scure stuff. If you say caught and cot dif­fer­ent­ly, rhyme on with don, and say Mary, mer­ry and mar­ry dif­fer­ent­ly, you can’t be from any­where be­sides NYC, north Jersey, and south­ern New England. It doesn’t mat­ter if you pro­nounce all your R’s.

If you’d like to test your­self and find out what sort of American ac­cent you have, try the on­line sur­vey.

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kara May 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm

I’m a New Yorker and I don’t have that typical “Noo Yawk” accent either. But I took that quiz and I definitely have a Northeastern one.

I read your “About” page…saw your link to my post about NY bagels — thanks! Ain’t nothing like ’em. Fuggedaboudit!!!

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