Part of the problem is surely my cut-rate site host, but part may be the intricate daisy-chain of forwarding instructions that send mail from that address to another address where I actually read it. From now on I'm skipping the middle man. If you want to reach me, I'm at:
I've never had a reliability problem with Comcast and trust that'll work. I've changed all the contact information on this blog and my www.momcancer.com website accordingly. Of course I'll keep the old address active, but use it at your own risk.
I hate not knowing what I might've missed. If you sent me an e-mail I should have responded to but didn't, I wasn't intentionally rude. I answer everything I get, generally within a day or two. If I get it. Feel free to try me again.
You Ain't From Around Here, Is'ya?
I found this fun quiz on Raina Telgemeier's blog. Answer some questions about how you pronounce various words and it'll tell you what kind of accent you have. Here's mine:
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: North Central
"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Take More Quizzes
Although I enjoyed the quiz, it got me wrong. I'm pretty sure my accent is "The West," a neutral newscasters' accent that the quiz calls "the lowest common denominator of American speech," and if I answer just a few questions differently I can tweak my result to come out that way. I suspect part of what the quiz picked up on is that, as a writer, I try to be careful and precise about what I say and how I say it. I exert a little effort to differentiate "stock" from "stalk" and "pin" from "pen."
On the other hand, although I've lived in the accentless West for more than 30 years, I did spend my speech-forming childhood in South Dakota. When I'm lazy I say "crick" for "creek" and I know what a davenport is. So I have to wonder if the quiz was clever and subtle enough to uncover my buried Midwestern roots. Or if it just got lucky.
Along those lines, check out the "Pop vs. Soda" website, where researchers have documented where in the U.S. people refer to a carbonated soft drink as "pop," "soda," "coke," or something else. I grew up a "pop" kid in South Dakota, as the map shows, and clearly remember feeling like a yokel when I first used the word in California.
I love regional accents and dialects. The fear that they'll go extinct as we all consume the same mass media doesn't seem to be coming to pass, as I understand it. What babies hear in their homes still seems to overwhelm whatever homogenization encroaches from outside. I hope that's true and remains so for a long time.
UPDATE: I just retook the accent quiz fresh (i.e., forgot what I answered the first time) and got "The West." Guess I'm a borderline case.