Re: dialect survey

Subject: Re: dialect survey
From: Nora Merhar <merhar -at- ALENA -dot- SWITCH -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 09:48:53 CDT

I know this is only peripherally related to tech. writing, but I had to offer
my 2 cents about dialects.

I'm from a suburb of Columbus, OH, which is below what someone (sorry I can't
remember who) said was the demarcation line in Ohio and Indiana (US 30).
Growing up, I remember noticing the "southern" accents of many of the people
who lived in Central Ohio (they tended to sound like Kentuckians). Since then,
I've lived in Northwest and Northeast Ohio without anyone commenting on the way
I speak (although I've noticed that Clevelanders tend to talk like New Yorkers,
and Cincinnatians speak more slowly and are very polite--instead of saying
"huh?" or "what?" when they mis-hear you, they say "excuse me?"--I could always
peg someone from Cincinnati this way, and they were very impressed).

Since I've moved to Illinois (I live in one of the southwest suburbs of
Chicago), a number of people have commented on my "accent" and asked where I'm
from. When I say "Columbus, Ohio", they express disbelief. When I ask where
they thought I was from, they sometimes say "New York", but mostly I hear
"Pennsylvania"!! I hear no difference between the way I speak and the way most
of the people around me speak, and I had NO idea that there was a Pennsylvania
accent, but apparently I have one (my parents grew up in PA). Can anybody tell
me what a PA accent is?

merhar -at- alena -dot- switch -dot- rockwell -dot- com

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