Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Accent Do You Have? And How Do You Say Friday?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The West
The Northeast
The South
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Apparently, I have a nice, neutral, broadcast TV "Midland" accent, at least according to this fun quiz. I was curious as, even though I'm a southern California native, I have many times been asked where I'm from, or occasionally if I'm British. I'm a bit of an accent chameleon, actually, tending to pick up things I hear around me. It works well when trying to speak a foreign language, though when we were in Ireland, my husband kept hitting me and saying "you're not Irish, you know".

A friend at work sent me this quiz when we got on the topic after another colleague pointed out that "Fry-dee" is the preferred pronunciation for the day of the week in most dictionaries. To our amazement, this seems to be true. Merriam-Webster, AH, OED, all admit this heresy. And Wikipedia backs it up. Jeannie pointed out that the only place she's ever heard this "-dee" business (it's not just Friday, but all the days) was in the Rogers and Hammerstein song "Everything's Up To Date in Kansas City", where it's done intentionally to portray the character singing as a hick. I can't recall ever hearing anyone say "-dee" in my whole life. Every public instance I can think of (TGI Friday ads, the Mamas and the Papas singing about "Monday, Monday", the Stones singing about "Ruby Tuesday", anyone talking about Good Friday or Easter Sunday), it's always been "-day". As I might say when I've been around my Irish friends, I'm gobsmacked.

(UPDATE: Here's an updated version of the same accent quiz. I came out "neutral" on that one. Retaking it and varying my answers, I realized the reason I don't have a Western accent is that I do make slight differences between don/dawn, hock/hawk, stock/stalk. Though not nearly the difference my New-York-to-the-core aunt would like to hear.)


Anonymous said...

hey, i've heard it pronounced "fri-dee" and i always thought it was rather strange. After reading your post, I went to, where they have pronunciations with sound clips, not just written pronunciations, and to my astonishment, "fri-dee" was the first pronunciation, but "fri-day" is also correct... it's like "pa-kahn" and "pee-can" both are correct, it just depends on where you're from.

Anonymous said...

oh, and to answer your question, I say Friday, not fri-dee.