Accents and Dialects

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Category for blog posts around the central theme of american accents and or american dialects.

29 07, 2013

African American Vernacular English : Part 1

2017-03-28T05:54:42-05:00By |

African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is a form of Standard American English (SAE). It is fascinating how different AAVE and SAE are by means of pronunciation/phonology, grammar, and vocabulary. Many people that use the AAVE form ‘code switch’ between AAVE and SAE, utilizing African American Vernacular English reduction. Code switching is a phenomenon that some [...]

19 07, 2013

How to lose your accent: African American Vernacular English

2017-03-28T05:54:42-05:00By |

How to lose your accent The term African American Vernacular English (AAVE) became popular in the mid to late 1980's as a way to describe the unique pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and substitution patterns used by African Americans which  make this speech pattern something beyond a simple dialect. For instance, a person using African American Vernacular [...]

14 06, 2013

American Dialect: Pop vs. Soda vs. Coke

2017-03-23T06:47:16-05:00By |

American Dialect The long awaited dispute of what is the ‘right’ way to say a sweetened carbonated beverage is in, finally. Could it be soda, pop, or coke? And the answer,according to one graduate student's American dialect research is: All of the above! That is, depending on where you are in America-due to one's American [...]

27 04, 2013

Chicago Accent on Saturday Night Live (SNL)

2017-03-23T06:47:17-05:00By |

Chicago Accent: The Birth of a Stereotype On January 12, 1991, Saturdayy Night Live (SNL) debuted a recurring skit known as Bill Swerski's Superfans, which would come to define the so called "Chicago accent" for generations of non-native Chicagoans. The accent used in the skit continues to be bandied about to this day as a shorthanded representation of [...]

5 03, 2013

Accent Reduction Tips: American Idioms-Part Thirteen

2017-03-23T06:47:18-05:00By |

Accent Reduction Tips: Our Ongoing Idioms Series Many of our clients with accent reduction goals have advanced degrees and have excellent command of the English language. Given the constantly evolving state of the English language, they may not understand informal slang used during workplace conversations or on various popular social media platforms such as Facebook [...]

17 01, 2013

Accent Reduction Training-The Voices of California Project

2017-03-23T06:47:19-05:00By |

Accent Reduction Training: Increasingly Localized As was discussed in a previous article, the standard California accent is thought to be closest in tone to the standard American English spoken throughout the Midwest and emphasized in accent reduction training. A direct result of  Midwestern settlers migrating to San Francisco during the gold rush period from 1848-1855. [...]

1 01, 2013

American Dialects-2012 Survey Reveals an Evolving Los Angeles Dialect

2017-03-23T06:47:19-05:00By |

 American Dialects in California Upon closer inspection, the American accents and American dialects found in the cities and towns that comprise California have proven to be relatively resistant to the broad generalizations which characterize dialect zones linguists use to divide the United States. California experienced a massive influx of English speakers  and immigrants from other [...]

3 12, 2012

The Untold Story of the Geico Gecko’s Brooklyn Bridge Commercial Shoot

2017-03-23T06:47:20-05:00By |

Recently Accent Pros brought you the story of the Geico gecko's experiences during a stay in Chicago.  In NYC, the gecko was nearly hit by a cyclist during a Brooklyn Bridge commercial shoot for Geico's "The Gecko's Journey" series. Below you will find the transcript of our interview with the gecko as he answered our [...]

20 11, 2012

American Idioms-Part Nine

2017-03-23T06:47:21-05:00By |

Cross your fingers Definition: To wish/pray for the best possible outcome. Example sentence: Jill waited for her exam results with crossed fingers. Origin: In the early days of the church, crossed fingers were used as a symbol for the cross. These were thought to invoke the power of the cross to guard against evil. This [...]

18 11, 2012

Is Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln Accent Historically Accurate?

2017-03-23T06:47:21-05:00By |

Searching for Lincoln"s True Voice The first phonograph (a device to record and playback sounds) was invented by Thomas Alva Edison in 1877, twelve years after  the death of Abraham Lincoln. As such, no recording of Abraham Lincoln"s legendary speeches exists  to highlight those variables which contributed to Lincoln"s status as one of the great [...]

16 11, 2012

Developing an American Accent

2017-03-23T06:47:21-05:00By |

The Effect of an Accent Do you have an accent when you speak? Would you like to know how to develop an American accent? Most non-native English speakers speak using accented English, the prominence of which is influenced by a variety of factors.  Most individuals are unaware of how mild or heavy their accent would [...]

15 11, 2012

Common American Idioms-Part Eight

2017-03-23T06:47:21-05:00By |

Cut Corners or Cutting Corners Definition: To take an alternative route or  find a faster way to complete a task. Normally said with the implication that the outcome will prove to be detrimental because of the proposed  shortcuts. It is commonly used in financial situations. Example Sentence : This is not a race; you have [...]

3 10, 2012

Common American Idioms – Part Seven

2017-03-23T06:47:22-05:00By |

 Keep your Eyes Peeled Definition: A cautionary expression indicating that one should be on alert for someone or something Example sentence: "Abby called me the other day telling me to keep my eyes peeled for any ceramic turtle collections under 50 dollars on eBay. I'm starting to worry about her." Origin: The word peel [...]

26 09, 2012

When You Try to Hide Your Accent

2017-03-23T06:47:22-05:00By |

 When you try to hide your accent, you become overwhelmed. When you become overwhelmed, you start to believe in fate. When you start to believe in fate, you seek out a palm reader. When you seek out a palm reader, you discover you have a repressed fear of driving. When you discover you [...]

20 09, 2012

Learning English Pronunciation of the Word “Of”

2017-03-23T06:47:22-05:00By |

The pronunciation of many words in the English language is sometimes puzzling to non-native speakers. One example would be the word "of". The word's history reveals interesting details about why it is pronounced with /v/ instead of an /f/. Its first known use is traced back to before the 12th century. By that time, people [...]

12 09, 2012

Are VOA News Special English Videos on YouTube good for accent reduction?

2017-03-23T06:47:22-05:00By |

What is the VOA News Special English video series? Voice Of America  (VOA) News Special English videos emphasize that individuals can observe the natural rhythm of the American Accent  while learning about current events across a variety of subjects, including world news, business, entertainment and technology. Users can access the videos via VOA's website or [...]

28 08, 2012

Types of Accents and Dialects Heard in California

2017-03-23T06:47:23-05:00By |

The Roots of the California Accent The California accent is at a young stage of development. As late as 1941, David DeCamp believed the California accent to be similar to the non-rhotic speech of the east coast; however the accent is closer in tone to the Midwest accent. Upon moving to Los Angeles many actors [...]

23 08, 2012

Types of Accents and Dialects Heard in NYC

2017-03-23T06:47:23-05:00By |

Speech in "The Big Apple" The New York City accent is one of the most polarizing regional accents found in the United States. Some people believe the accent to be an extension of the speaker"s presumed "tough" personality, a stereotypical trait that has been broadly applied to all New Yorkers by non natives. Although the [...]

16 07, 2012

How Do You Talk with an American Accent?

2017-03-28T05:54:56-05:00By |

With every existing American accent comes a different dialect as well as particular rules, patterns, and styles of intonation, stress, and rate of speech. If you speak with a foreign accent and you are looking to talk like an American, you must learn to speak with a standard American accent.  You may be wondering what [...]

1 06, 2012

Do English Speaking Americans Have an Accent?

2017-03-23T06:47:24-05:00By |

Individuals who speak standard American English are usually able to notice when someone else speaks with a different, more foreign accent. However, these American English-speaking individuals may sometimes believe their own way of speaking contains no accent at all, when in turn, it actually does. What most of these native English speakers don’t realize is [...]