General Question

queenzboulevard's avatar

Do people from the west coast have an accent?

Asked by queenzboulevard (2549points) December 14th, 2008

People from the north and south do, which splits up all of the east coast and central U.S, but not the West in my opinion. I have listened to people from the west coast talk, and I think there may be a common accent there too. Opinions? Facts? Experiences?

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35 Answers

Judi's avatar

Since Hollywood is here, we talk like the people on television, except most of us know how to say Oregon ( OrYgun)

charliecompany34's avatar

when we visit relatives in west covina, we immediately hear the differences. midwestern folk have a northern dialect combined with some southern accents and word combinations like “y’all” for “you all.” in california, we’ll hear our cousins distinctly say “you all.”

Mizuki's avatar

We westerners speak Walter Cronkite English.

SuperMouse's avatar

Growing up on the west coast I never heard any kind of an accent. Now that I live in the midwest, I still don’t hear one. I seem to speak pretty much exactly like Cornfield natives.

augustlan's avatar

@Mizuki: So do we Mid-Atlantic east coasters!

PupnTaco's avatar

I’m SoCal native and when I was in England on a student exchange in college, I was talking to my host mother who continued staring and smiling after I had finished speaking. After a pause, I said, “what?” – she answers, “oh, just keep talking – I love listening to your accent.”

Mizuki's avatar

@aug——I love the way you folks say “salad”—like saaaalid.

johnnyknoxville08's avatar

not so sure about an accent, but definitely a vocabulary/slang

Jeruba's avatar

Everybody has an accent.

When I moved to the West Coast from the Northeast, I was sharply aware of certain differences, for the most part confined to single words. A lot of idioms are different, but that isn’t accent. (And no, I do not have a New England accent. People in my native region always used to ask me where I was from.) But typical West Coast speech is pretty close to what you might label Standard American. However, Southern California sounds different from Northern California. Fer sherr.

I found less difference between East and West than I did between East and Midwest. And of course Southern dialect is a whole other critter.

Foolaholic's avatar

I concur with Jeruba. It may be very subtle, but that just means that you need to move farther from the source before it becomes apparent.

windex's avatar

@queenzboulevard: Well to us no we don’t, But to others yes.

@Judi: I say O-Reh-GN

@Dave: I almost want to ask if you did anything to…But that would be really immature and inappropriate, so I won’t ask. sorry


blondie411's avatar

I don’t think it is as much accent differences between the coasts but more of regional differences when you compare the east and west coast.

PupnTaco's avatar

I did anything to what?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Yes, from a linguistic of view, everyone has an accent.

Darwin's avatar

Southern Californians (NOT Valley Girls) have a tendency to push a bit harder on the U in words such as “up.” There are a few other minor and hard to catch vowel differences in Californispeak as compared to other parts of the US that also speak “Standard American.”

scamp's avatar

I have a very weird blend of accents. I grew up in the Midwest, then spent 20-some years in the south, and now live in the Northeast. I have bits of the accents I have picked up from all three places. My SO says he can tell when I am speaking to a southener, because my drawl comes back to get the best of me!

To this very day when I order a soft drink I have to think about whether I want to call it a pop, a soda, or a coke!!

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think if you really listen, then, yes, you would hear an accent. My mother and I don’t have noticeable accents. My mother was born in Missouri, lived for a number of year in the northeast. lived for 18 years in Washington state, 4 years in Colorado and has been back in the northeast for 10 years and no one can tell where she’s from/been. I was born in Seattle, moved to Colorado when i was 5 and have been living in CT for the past 10 years and I have a pretty standard accent.

adri027's avatar

Everybody has an accent to somebody.

susanc's avatar

When I lived on the E coast it was all variety. Moved to WA and missed it. Thought I had found the classless society. But both those perceptions were based on insensitivity. After a couple of years I noticed a yokely kind of vowel-swallowing, loopy-rhythmed thing in the rural parts of my county. And very, very slowly I began to notice that Indian people have a rhythm in their speech that doesn’t seem to be regional. La_chica, explain this please.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

to answer susanc’s qestion:

Dialects are created by both geographic and cultural “space”, meaning that whenever a group of people talk to each other more within the group than to those outside of the group, whether the group is ‘residents of Seattle’ or ‘Native Americans’, the group will eventually begin to speak more like each other than those outside of the group. This is when a dialect is born. Dialects that are based on a social community rather than a geographic community are often called ‘sociolects’, which is what I would classify the speech pattern you noticed among Native Americans as. This phenomenon is also behind in African American Vernacular English and the gay sociolect (way of speaking associated with gay men a la this question).

I’m part Native, and actually somewhat active in the community, something I don’t know if I’ve ever mention on fluther before, but I can say that since the days of the Dawe’s Act and the Trail of Tears, tribal identities are not nearly as strong as they used to be, and there is a large amount of inter-Tribal communication and community, especially due to the popularity of powwows. Furthermore, I would estimate that the largest wave English-learning by Native Americans happened at compulsory government boarding schools between 1860 and 1930 the where children of different tribes attended together school together, in part in attempt to erase their tribal identities and prevent them from speaking their native languages as they would only be able to communicate with those of other tribes in English. Thus the way that they spoke English developed together, and they taught it to their children, etc.

So I would say there is probably a Native American sociolect, you’ve noticed some characteristics of it. You’re a budding linguist! Congratulations!

Mizuki's avatar

give me a soda that is wicked good ya’all…

Judi's avatar

I used to say coke until they started saying ‘Is pepsi alright?” Did you know that Taco Bell started that? I worked for them in the 70’s. Now I say “Diet Soda.”

scamp's avatar

@Judi in the south, everything is a coke. when you order, they ask, “What kind of coke do you want? Do you want a sprite, a cola, or a root beer?” A coke pretty much means any soft drink.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Judi, I used to work in a pepsi restaurant (in the South) and it was freaking annoying. Coca Cola can sue your restaurant now if someone orders a coke and you bring them a pepsi. Ugh, I hated pepsi, too. It was really terrible to have to tell people “We have pepsi, is that okay?”

Scamp, they really don’t do that as much as they used to. It makes me sad…
Usually if someone wants a sprite, they just order a sprite, where i live anyway….we’re coming to the end of an era…

Judi's avatar

@scamp, that’s the way I grew up too. I just got frustrated with the question and changed to asking for diet soda so they knew they could bring me what ever diet soda they had.

scamp's avatar

@La_chica_gomela I know, but there are still some small “pockets” where they don’t let got of the old ways easily! some of the “old southerners” are resistant to change. I own a house in a small farming county in Florida, where there are still alot of those good ole boys left.

maky123's avatar

well most of american tv comes from hollywood which is in the west meaning lots of people have herd the way we talk( i’m from the west) its relly comon we do have an accent cuz we talk diffenertly from someone south or east orwest that an accent it is just herd all around the worls so u don’y relly notice ex some people say tamto differntly but the we say it the west is sperd out all over the world cuz of tv if you didn’t have a tv you think we would have an accent that all!

Darwin's avatar

@maky123 – Looks as if you have an accent when you write, also.

maky123's avatar

to darwin, were are you from?

Darwin's avatar

@maky123 – Originally, California. Subsequently Connecticut, Florida, Spain, Venezuela, and Arizona. Currently, Texas.

Response moderated
augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Txtspk removed.

maky123's avatar

yes in all that i’ve said it mainly YEAH eveybodt has anccent duh?

thriftymaid's avatar

They sure do.

kryceksangel's avatar

I work in a call center. Companies like the west coast because we don’t have an accent and are easy to understand. It’s a fact. We talk like people on the news. It’s just the way we are

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