North of the South?

Is Ohio in The South?

Apparently, the Mason-Dixon Line divides the country like this.

Apparently, the Mason-Dixon Line divides the country like this.

When I lived in California, a lot of people recognized my accent. I speak like I’m on TV, but more nasally; that is, I have a midwestern accent, but I sound differently if I plug my nose. I would think just one state away people would sound a lot like me. I was always mistaken as a Wisconsinite or a Minnesotan; I was never mistaken as an Ohioan. That’s because people in Ohio have southern accents.

What the hell, Ohio? How can you possibly be less then a three hour drive and have a different way of speaking? How can people from my area say “y’all” in a mocking/condescending way while you use it as communication tool? We speak so quickly that it’s often difficult to understand us while you speak in such a slow way that it’s sometimes difficult to take you seriously. Even our jokes are miles apart: we value wit and a quick tongue, you value time-tested clichés and television commercials.

I kid, Ohio, because I love.

But seriously, what’s with the accent?


5 Responses

  1. You only hit “y’all” territory in Southern Ohio. Southern, rural Ohio merges with Kentucky (somewhat) and West Virginia (a great deal) and accents it speech accordingly.

    However, the accent is Appalachian, not Southern. The key difference is that people with Southern accents occasionally sound minimally educated.

    There’s some migration, I suppose, but we all know what the score is.

  2. HOWDY!

  3. For the sake of preserving the consistency of my statements: Yes, Columbus is right by the deepest heart of Appalachia.

    No, Columbus isn’t in “y’all” territory. I live in Columbus, and I can’t say I here y’alls with any regularity. If the y’allers you met were at the SPACE convention, it may simply be the case that SPACE attendants are not representative of the Columbus Area, accent-wise.

    On the other hand, there’s another accent/vernacular in Franklin County, that does, I think, include “y’all,” but is distinct from Appalachian and Southern dialects. It’s more of an inner-city, quasi-Ebonics type dialect. I don’t think that is easily mistaken for Southern, though.

  4. […] the next book (although I’m sure that will change quickly with pictures of Lemon up. Usually “The North of the South” is the biggest […]

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