pollyannamustdie: (Alien Heritage)
[personal profile] pollyannamustdie
A little bit ago, this American dialect quiz was floating around on Facebook. People who have lived in a lot of different regions of the US, or have lived abroad, got some less predictable results. My results pinned me dead-on.

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My friend Jason wanted to see the answers I selected. I also went back later and monkeyed with some of the answers to a fresh quiz to see what they would say, since some of my word choices and pronunciations have changed since childhood. The above result, plus Tulsa, of all places (Texas leakage?), came from the quiz that I answered completely honestly based upon the words I use now, and have been using for my adult life. To illustrate what I mean, let me start with the word crayon.

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At points in my childhood, crayons were crans, and, at other points, they were crowns. When I was a teenager and trying to better myself, I adopted (what I finally determined to be) the "correct" pronunciation, cray-awn. I really don't know what to tell you about all that. Even the mini maps don't make it make sense. I can tell you with absolute confidence that not once did I even consider eating a crayon, or putting a crayon in my nose. I really couldn't stand to even color with a broken crayon, and their value to me dropped pretty much the instant the point was worn down to a rounded nub (like driving a new car off the lot). Crayons were only beautiful when they were brand new.

I am famous (within my inner circle, anyway) for being a serious and committed offender when it comes to vowel mergers. [livejournal.com profile] pamelonian in particular likes to tease me about my pen/pin merger (thery're all pins to me). I am trying to fix that, but when I try to say pen, I feel like I am saying pan. SMH. I have worked throughout my life to become a more precise speaker, but I cannot be bothered to change the following lifelong habits, or even be convinced that they need changing:

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This next one gave me a little bit of trouble. I have always called it a garage sale if an actual garage is somehow involved (even if all the items for sale are in the driveway in front of an open or closed garage), and a yard sale if all the crap is in the yard, which tends to happen when there is no garage to be near the hoard pile that someone is trying to get rid of. There was not an option for my answer.

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Most of my friends and associates know that I spent a chunk of my childhood living in south Texas. I lived in San Antonio, and later, Corpus Christi. Say what you will about Texas, but as a school-aged child and wannabe sea creature, a absolutely loved it there. I think that's the reason why I cling so tenaciously to certain Texasisms, particularly the 100% valid contraction of you and all. We are all lucky I abandoned saying SIGH-reen instead of sigh-wren and SEE-mint instead of suh-MENT, though both have slipped out a few times during my adulthood, to amusing effect.

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Ok, so things I just don't. I was never aware that anyone had a word for Hallowe'en Eve. Were you? I have never used the word supper. It's kind of making me cringe, actually. I think I don't like the word supper. That's all right, though, because I've never used it, except, perhaps, when referring to a church's "pancake supper," which is a term that I find amusing. I don't know why.

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I didn't even learn the term rubbernecking until I was an adult. Prior to that, if someone was gawking at a traffic accident, I just said they were gawking or staring. The traffic jam itself is a traffic jam, a bottleneck, or, gee, an accident.

As for the kitty-corner business, I adopted the word diagonal when I was really small. I don't know why. I was (and still am) literal-minded to the point that dumb jokes didn't (don't) make sense to me, so maybe the term kitty-corner did not make sense to me, since I didn't know what the hell a cat had to do with it. I also favored the word stomach over tummy. I never had a boo-boo; it was a scratch, a cut, a scrape, a bruise, a splinter, a burn, or, you know, whatever it specifically was. For some reason, that specificity really mattered to little me. In my adulthood, I adopted the word catty-wampus to mean that something was jacked up in some way, or physically in chaos. I learned from this quiz that my use of that "word" is incorrect.

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Prior to my teen years, I'd never heard any term for the weather event that combines sun and rain. The term I heard was witch's wedding, which was not among the options given in this quiz. When I first watched Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, though, I decided to adopt the term "fox's wedding," because it's more romantic, even if you do have to stab yourself after you witness one.

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Like most Americans, apparently, I grew up calling her my Ant Carla. In my late teens or very early adulthood, I decided to adopt what I felt to be a more elegant, less insect-related pronunciation of the word aunt, and now it is my habit. I did something similar with the word pajamas, though not for buggy reasons.

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Are you bored, yet?

The question of carbonated beverages is pretty boring. I grew up calling all carbonated beverages by their very own brand names, so that I could get what I wanted and not end up with some fizzy brown nastiness that I did not want. They are not all the same. I can smell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. So can [livejournal.com profile] pamelonian. Again, as a child, that specificity was important to me. Later, I adopted the generic catch-all soda, because I like the word soda. I also prefer the word sofa to couch. It's just a prettier word.

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I know it's wrong. Sorry.

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Still. Actually, I just call them tennies, even though I never get anywhere near tennis.

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They're still lightning bugs to me, even though there is something more elegant and fancy about the word firefly...

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I just can't believed I touched and played with these vile things as a child:

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This post is getting long, so I won't insert any additional images. I grew up saying icing, but I now say frosting, thanks to the influence of television commercials. I honestly don't know whether I say water fountain or drinking fountain, it is so rare that I refer to those things at all. A big truck is a semi. The large, American cat is a mountain lion, whether in the absence or presence of mountains, real or imagined. Lawyers practice law, so I call them lawyers, not loy-yers. I would call them loy-yers if they practiced loy. An easy class is a pud class. That option was not available in this quiz. I guess they are crawfish? I haven't had much occasion to say one way or the other what those little things are.

Well, y'all, I guess that's it! If you're in Texas, drive through a party barn for me.

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