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New Yorkers Seek Speech Therapy to Lose Accents

Have You Tried to Change Your Accent?

I am fascinated by accents — consonants dropped, vowels found. It's a fascinating piece of history imprinted in what we can and cannot do with our tongues, in a SFW sort of way.

A true New York accent is inescapable. It's in every syllable and sigh, almost as if you can hear it before a person opens his mouth. But as with all things, it's far less intriguing when it's your accent, and it doesn't help that the Jersey Shore has made a mockery of the tristate's diction.

Now The New York Times has a trend piece about New Yorkers seeking speech therapy to get rid of their accents for good. Speech therapy is extreme, but I've known Bostonians, New Yorkers, and Southerners who have purposefully and successfully lost their accents. Mostly.

Have you tried?

Join The Conversation
julea julea 6 years
I'm not sure what accent CT has.... I speak boringly. If there is one it's not a sexy one. It makes me kind of sad, actually.
inlove23 inlove23 6 years
I'm with you ManiMartini. I had a slight speech impediment growing up so I couldn't pronounce squirrel. I just stopped saying the word because everyone would bug me to say it to the point where it was obnoxious. A few years later I could without even trying. However, a lot of people ask me if I'm southern? Who knows. I'm from Delaware
ManiMartinixo ManiMartinixo 6 years
I moved down to Georgia from New Jersey when I was in elementary school. After months of kids begging me to say "coffee" and "car" and stuff like that I decided to just not say any words that sounded weird in my accent til I figured out how to say them like everyone else.
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
People from my current state, Oklahoma, and from outside the us generally ask me if I grew up in california, and I've noticed the similarities in speech over the years when listening to or watching people who are from california. The accents around here are pretty varied, but in a lot of the small towns there is a very very thick midwestern southern type accent. When speaking to people from other countries, I almost always get compliments on my accent.
ashleyheatherr ashleyheatherr 6 years
I have a general Ameican accent. I was born and raised in Southern California. I don't think that people should try to loose their accents, I like the diversity.
cherrypop cherrypop 6 years
Well, I'm from Singapore and have been living in America for 3 years. I thought I didn't have an accent until I came here, and I also realized that I have enunciation problems (i.e. had to strain real hard to pronounce words with "th" in them because my bf keeps correcting me). I still have an accent, but I'm definitely working on my diction. On the other hand, I'm fine with people with accents because they never bothered me. I don't get how some people get annoyed by others' accents because I think all accents are beautiful and unique.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
katia, west coast is pretty much standardized American English so it sounds non-accented to us. But I guess we have an American accent to people outside the U.S.? Anon 17, I know that accents can show your economic upbringing, but I think it's sad that that is grounds for discrimination. It exists in the U.S. as well. A lot of people associate a strong southern accent with "poor white trash". No matter what the reason for your accent, I just think it sucks that it works against you because people discriminate others based on the way they speak.
katialoves katialoves 6 years
west coast = no accent at least not that i know of
amber512 amber512 6 years
I live in the Pacific NW (near Portland). I don't even know what kind of "accent" I have!
GTCB GTCB 6 years
I challenged our company president to a bet, which if he'd lost, he'd have to speak with a Scottish accent for an entire day. Unfortunately he never took me up on it.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
snarkypants, yes they are. :drool:
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
that's cuz wisconsin accents are sexy ;)
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
I am from Colorado, and have the standard Colorado non-accent. I sound like the newscasters. I have never tried to acquire or drop an accent. I have a friend from Wisconsin. When people comment on his accent, or ask him if he's from the Midwest, he says "Thank you." He makes a conscious effort to hang on to his accent. I love that! I worked with a guy from Australia. He didn't try to lose his accent, and it hasn't decreased any in the few years I've known him. He should try to lose the dialect, though, because trying to get directions from someone who's speaking Australian is very difficult. >:( "Why didn't you turn?" "You said straight away!" "Oi meant you had to turn straight away!" "How do I turn straight?" "Straight away means roight now!" "#$%!. Sorry."
chequettex chequettex 6 years
I had a very pronounced southern accent until I was 5 and we moved away from the south. Then my accent just turned into a non-accent - I speak plain old non-accented, non-nuanced American English. I guess I could have developed a sort of Chicago accent (there definitely is one) since I've lived here for so long, but I haven't, excpet for when I'm tired and whiny, because that's what the Chicago accent sounds like to me, ha ha.
cguerra3 cguerra3 6 years
I was born in to a family of native Spanish speakers, living in rule west Texas.I went through six years of language classes to americanized my accent and I rarely have any slip up. In southern terms I speak like a Yankee.
ayuninur ayuninur 6 years
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I think it's sad when people hide their accents and I find it sad that people have negative associations with accents enough to make people want to hide their accent. I love accents. All sorts of 'em. I wish I had something more unique about my voice, but it's pretty standard American English, which I find a bit boring.
juicebox07 juicebox07 6 years
Somewhat. I have a kind of Maryland "southern" accent. I try to sound more sophisticated sometimes, but when I'm really blabbering away, there is no hiding my accent.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 6 years
Nope. I wasn't even aware I had an accent until I went to London and several people knew I was from California because of my accent.
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
We all have accents. Being a native of the Midwest, I was surprised to find that my "bland" way of speaking had it's own twang when I spent a year or so on the East Coast. Vice versa. You say tomato, I say bite me. Embrace it. ;)
C-Ruth C-Ruth 6 years
I am not even aware of my 'accent'.. I am from Chicago, I am not sure what I say wrong, so I do not know how to fix it.
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