Monday, April 7, 2014

How NY Changed My Speech, at Least a Little

Let's face it: the Ohio and New York "accents" are basically identical.

I'm not talking about Brooklynese -- that's another beast altogether. It's strangely distinct (watch "Saturday Night Fever," anyone?), and what's even stranger is that many people who are born and bred in Brooklyn don't speak with it. Some native Brooklyners sound like they could have come from Ohio.

So by and large, New Yorkers and Ohioans sound the same. But I have definitely noticed three small changes in my speech since we moved to New York and back  -- nothing that anyone would notice, I think, but interesting to me all the same.

First: grocery. Before New York, I pronounced it "gro-shree." Now I say "gro-sir-ee." Our six years in Brooklyn turned it into a three-syllable word.

Next: coupon. Before New York, it was "cue-pon." Now, "coo-pon."

And last, a phrase. "It is what it is." I seem to remember that phrase being a minor annoyance when we first moved to New York. Maybe it was a little too obvious for my taste. Now I find it creeping into my speech regularly.

I don't know why, how or exactly when I made these changes, and I wonder if I say anything else differently that I haven't noticed. Of course, I've kept the vast majority of  my Ohio- and Midwesternisms -- the predominant one being "pop." No soda for me. You can take the girl out of Ohio, but you can't take the Ohio out of the girl.

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed my coworkers In Philly seldom use the word "grocery" at all - they call it "food shopping" instead.



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