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mramsey's avatar

Do actors speak with an "Ohio accent"?

Asked by mramsey (786 points ) October 9th, 2009

I’ve always heard that Ohioans have no accent. Or maybe it’s better to say a neutral accent and that actors/public speakers speak like those of us in Ohio. Is there any truth to this?

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27 Answers

SheWasAll_'s avatar

I wouldn’t say it’s called an “Ohio accent” but newscaster always aim for a neutral accent. I’m from the Cleveland area and I’ve never been told I have an accent….so maybe it’s true.

Sarcasm's avatar

Never heard of an “Ohio accent”. But yeah it seems like a lot of actors aim for that neutral ground.
It’s interesting to hear some foreign actors (Such as the Stargate Scots, Robert Carlyle [SGU] and Paul McGillion [ATL]) have such a mild accent on-screen compared to that which they have in real life/in interviews (Even David Tennant tones down his accent on the British show Doctor Who).

oratio's avatar

Interesting. Where do people speak standard American? Is it Ohio?

RedPowerLady's avatar

This is an interesting idea. I am always curious to know who is considered to have an accent and who isn’t. I live on the West Coast and I don’t hear an speaking difference from ourselves and actors.

scamp's avatar

I was born and raised in Ohio, and many people say I have a “midwestern twang”. We do have a bit of an accent. It just not as heavy as it is for people from other areas.

deni's avatar

I suppose Ohio is pretty neutral for language accents. I was going to say that I think Pittsburgh is too, but then I remembered it’s far from it. I don’t think I talk like that though…actually I’m positive I don’t. So yeah, Ohio…Indiana…do people from like, Montana and South Dakota have an accent?

JLeslie's avatar

Ohio is kind of neutral, but they still have the midwestern give away on words with ou. It is not as severe as the upper-midwest, but it is still there. Everywhere in the US has an accent of some sort. Sometimes it is difficult to pick it out until the person says a particular word. Sometimes the word itself is an indicator like pop or soda.

deni's avatar

Now that I think about people I know from Ohio, I take back that I said it’s neutral. They definitely say a lot of words differently and draw out certain syllables.

mramsey's avatar

Found this. It says a little about the topic, plus it’s a fun read. Enjoy =)

ccrow's avatar

I had a teacher once who was from Ohio, & I remember talking w/my friends about her accent: she pronounced hot dogs, for example, as ‘haht dahgs’, but I think it was really only that one sound that really stood out in the way she talked. We didn’t like her very much, so we got great enjoyment from mimicking her accent- but not where she would hear us.
Haht cahfee, anyone?;-)

deni's avatar

@ccrow exaactly. i had this conversation with my friend from ohio before. we say “oh my god” differently – ohio is oh my gahhhd. and pittsburgh is “oh my gawd”.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Omaha, Nebraska is king when it comes to “neutrality”, not Ohio. I’ve read that many telemarketing firms set up shop there in order to employ locals, as they are more likely to be understood no matter where in the country they are making calls.

tinyfaery's avatar

Non-regional dialect. I always associated it with the West Coast. That’s how we speak out here.

gailcalled's avatar

My mother grew up in Oregon and had a neutral and rather elegant way of speaking.

scamp's avatar

I’ve been told that we say the ‘ak’ sound differently too. For instance when we say back we put a lot of the “acck” sound in it. Also, my father pronounced film as fill em, like it is a 2 syllable word instead of one.

Kayak8's avatar

As an Ohioan, with beautiful diction (by the way), it is very easy for me to believe this is true. Not only do I sound like the newscasters on local TV, but I also sound like the talking heads on the national news . . . hmmm perhaps I should be a newscaster . . .

scamp's avatar

Go for it! Next time I go back to Ohio to visit relatives and we turn on the news I will look for you , Kayak8!

tedibear's avatar

If so, it would have to be northern Ohio. Once you get a bit farther south than Columbus, you start to hear the “southern accent” creep in. It’s not pronounced, but certainly discernible. I’ve heard the same thing about newscasters, that they aim to sound like they’re from Cleveland.

Kayak8's avatar

Noooooooooo, Cleveland has their own accent that is decidedly NOT standard midwestern English. We probably need to settle for Ashland or somewhere between Cleveland and Columbus. But you are right about the Route 40 conundrum—above it, things sound standard and below it they start drifting to a southern accent and even the word choices are different.

BethDamnit's avatar

I’m from cincinnati, and while we do have a few southern twangs here and there, ( I say Libary instead of library) etc. we generally sound much more non regional than most. I have a feeling it is because of the top rated broadcasting school up in Cleveland. People move to ohio for school and cant escape lol

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

There are some very interesting sites on-line that talk extensively about accents. They say that the whole great lakes area has an inland north accent, and that it is the western states that are known to have a neutral accent. Try taking this test:
http://www.youthink.com/quiz.cfm?action=go_detail&sub_action=take&obj_id=9827

Warrenkane's avatar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American

The “General American” dialect is what is used by most newscasters. This is a Midwestern dialect, from Ohio primarily… Do some research

Warrenkane's avatar

http://www.youthink.com/quiz.cfm

Skaggface, here is my result from the link. Neutral and Midwest. Not sure what you are talking about…

Warrenkane's avatar

http://www.relaxandspeak.com/ohiodialectcoach.html

Here is a link to a dialogue coaching service that teaches an Ohio accent…

Warrenkane's avatar

Kayak, it is called the North Central Vowel Shift

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