Video Blog: Listen to Me Talk! (aka This is What My Students Must Endure All Semester)

Have you seen the accent video blogs going around the internet lately? Bloggers from all over are recording themselves saying a few specific words and answering some questions so that others can hear what their accents sound like.

I mean, allegedly.

Probably it’s some kind of scam to get us all to record a certain set of phonemes so someone in a sound lab somewhere deep underground in an ice castle can cobble together a reasonable facsimile of our voices in order to hatch some devious plot. What do you mean I watch too many spy movies?!

Regardless, due to my love of accents and regional colloquialisms of all kinds, I have been eagerly enjoying all of these videos. Sooner or later, I had to make my own. The problem is that I am very awkward on video and I recorded it with PhotoBooth on my Mac, and I had no idea where to look — at the camera? At the image of me? At the list of words I was reading? So I look sort of shifty-eyed the entire time. Forgive my awkwardness, or at least try not to look directly at it.

Here is the text to read if anyone wants to play along and record your own (please do; oh, please, please do!!).

The Word List:  Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught.

The Questions:
 
• What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
• What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
• What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
• What do you call gym shoes?
• What do you say to address a group of people?
• What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
• What do you call your grandparents?
• What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
• What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
• What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

So tell me: do I have a southern accent? Yay or nay? Do you know other terms/expressions that answer the questions above? Let me know.

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24 thoughts on “Video Blog: Listen to Me Talk! (aka This is What My Students Must Endure All Semester)

  1. clarabella February 5, 2011 / 3:03 pm

    OHMIGOSH, I love it. I am SO doing this as soon as I take a shower & look a little less like death warmed over. Anyhow…
    Those questions crack me up; here’s what I think: Some people call a cart a “buggy” and a remote a “clicker,” both of which are unacceptable to me.
    Also, I wish I could get Philly to do this because I make fun of the way he was “water” ALL THE TIME. Silly Yankee.
    (I will post this on my Tumblr when I do it.)
    Oh, and you forgot, or omitted, the few months you lived in Deutschland.

    • Kate February 5, 2011 / 4:08 pm

      Oh yay, you should definitely do it (and get Philly to). Yeah, I left out Germany on purpose because I tried so hard not to speak English there anyway! Heh. Although maybe I should do a joke video of all my “accents” that I do. My Arnold Schwarzenegger is the best.

  2. John February 6, 2011 / 4:04 am

    I have a Canadian accent (from around the Hamilton, Ontario region), so I typically get the “aboot” and “fer” jokes. (For the record, Sarah Palin does not have a Canadian accent). I usually find these unamusing.
    I can hear a little southern accent in your speech. I wouldn’t say it’s strong, but maybe I’m pre-conditioned by exaggerated Hollywood movies.
    As for the questions:
    1. TP-ing
    2. Pillbug
    3. pop
    4. sneaks/sneakers
    5. “Hey guys!”
    6. daddy-long-legs
    7. “nana” and “pop”
    8. buggy or cart – (incidentally, in French it’s “chariot”)
    9. Sunshower
    10. remote

    • Kate February 6, 2011 / 3:56 pm

      Pillbug! That is kind of funny. Also, I think I should start calling my shopping cart a chariot from now on. It would give me a little je ne sais quoi, don’t you think? Thanks for posting your answers!

      • John February 7, 2011 / 7:24 am

        Don’t forget the French accent: “sharry-oh”

  3. John February 6, 2011 / 4:04 am

    I have a Canadian accent (from around the Hamilton, Ontario region), so I typically get the “aboot” and “fer” jokes. (For the record, Sarah Palin does not have a Canadian accent). I usually find these unamusing.
    I can hear a little southern accent in your speech. I wouldn’t say it’s strong, but maybe I’m pre-conditioned by exaggerated Hollywood movies.
    As for the questions:
    1. TP-ing
    2. Pillbug
    3. pop
    4. sneaks/sneakers
    5. “Hey guys!”
    6. daddy-long-legs
    7. “nana” and “pop”
    8. buggy or cart – (incidentally, in French it’s “chariot”)
    9. Sunshower
    10. remote

  4. Kandi February 6, 2011 / 10:54 am

    I want to do this for my blog soon but in the mean time- I grew up in the Appalachain Mountains, but further north than you… and we always say that word the way you say not to. I wonder if it’s a dialect thing south vs. north?
    I also grew up calling a shopping cart a “buggie”. I have since changed my ways and it is now just a cart.

    • Kate February 6, 2011 / 3:57 pm

      That’s funny – it must be a north vs south thing. Of course the southern version is the “right” one! Heh. I have heard people call it a buggy, too, here in AL.

  5. laura February 6, 2011 / 3:46 pm

    You do not have a Southern accent! In fact, if you and I were to meet, I would eventually ask the question, “You’re not originally from around here, are you?” and be shocked when you said Tennessee. I can really hear the west coast in your voice.

    • Kate February 6, 2011 / 3:58 pm

      I think my fellow southerners don’t think I have much of a southern accent, but my friends from other areas think I do.

  6. Rose-Anne February 6, 2011 / 4:52 pm

    Oh, I love getting to hear your voice! How fun.

    But no pop? WHAT?!? I always say pop or soda. I do NOT say Coke, ever. I actually don’t drink sweetened, carbonated beverages too often, but it makes me sad that I can’t order a pop here in Texas.

    Also, I’ve been schooled on the Oregon thing. I totally used to say Or-a-GON. That’s a Michigan accent for you (axe-cent, with a nice, nasally short a).

    • Kate February 7, 2011 / 11:40 am

      Oh, you should do one! I like the midwestern accent. It makes me think of an old SNL skit, something like “Matt and Pat’s Flapjack Shack.”

      • Rose-Anne February 7, 2011 / 8:58 pm

        OK, I will try! I think I may have figured out how to make a movie on my camera, and if this works, I’ll say “Matt and Pat’s Flapjack Shack” just for you 🙂 (I crack myself up saying it!)

  7. Alexis February 6, 2011 / 7:43 pm

    Oh, wow, you’re, like, seeeewwwwww American (who woulda thought?). You say “caught” the way I say “cot”, and “both” the way I say “booth”, and “shopping cart” the way I say “trolley”, and “soda” the way I say “fizzy drink”, and “rolling” the way I say “Who would do that?”

    I heart regional Englishes.

    Ahsk the mahster to pahss the bahnahnahs.

  8. Danimal February 6, 2011 / 10:10 pm

    This looks like a good time. I will do this soon so that y’all may do a little tremble and despair at the pure, unadulterated born’n’raised white boy from Portland, Oregon, never went nowhere for long except Eugene accent.

    Yours was very interesting — when you just talk conversationally, I hear south. But when you read the words off, you sound west coast. And we definitely have some disagreements about terminology.

    • Kate February 7, 2011 / 11:43 am

      Oh goody! Also, the speaking vs reading distinction is interesting — I think that makes sense. I was probably being more careful to say the words “right” when reading off the list. And I grew up w/ parents who always impressed on me the “right” (aka California) pronunciations. (They did not want me to have a Southern accent at all, and I therefore consider it a successful rebellion if/when I do have one.)

  9. Katie February 7, 2011 / 10:41 am

    It’s pop! Pop, I tell you! Though if I’m ordering a fountain drink at, say, Chiptole, I will say soda. All other times, though, it’s POP!

    Also, I call those bugs potato bugs. I don’t know why. I guess they are oval like a potato? Frankly, I don’t remember the last time I even saw one of those bugs.

    I have never heard anyone call TPing “rolling.” That’s a new one for me.

    As for “Oregon,” it drives me crazy to hear David Duchovny say “Or-e-GONE” in The X-Files. Why, Mulder, why?!

    • Kate February 7, 2011 / 11:44 am

      I am suprised you say pop. I always think of that as a midwestern word, not a PNW word! Agreed on the Oregon issue. We Ducks fans kept talking all season about how shameful it was that none of the football announcers could say it. And they called Eugene “YOU-gene.” Gah.

      • TimT February 8, 2011 / 6:12 pm

        I call it fizzy drink. This may be merely a personal eccentricity.

  10. MC Etcher February 11, 2011 / 6:36 am

    In my expert ‘have lived all over the United States’ opinion, you do not have a southern accent.

    You sound like a mixture of west coast and midwest to me, (which is what I believe myself to sound like as well – I’ll have to take your test).

    Also, I seem to recall hearing your voice before – wasn’t there a video of you feeding carrots to the cutest dachshund ever?

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