Friday, November 2, 2007

Waana Glassa Melk?

Eric Weaver, a Grand Rapids native now working as an ad exec in Seattle, has put together an impressive online guide to the Michigan accent, complete with a pronunciation key and a section on unique words and phrases.

"A little bit Fargo, a little bit Nasal Chicago, and a little bit Canadian, the Michigan Accent was derived from a lot of the linguistic influences of its early settlers: Irish, Finnish, Welsh and Dutch. In some areas, particularly around blue collar parts of Detroit, hordes of poor Southerners who came up the Dixie Highway to work on the assembly lines in the early-to-mid 1900's have also injected a bit of Southern twang into our Northern European heritage.

"The resulting mix is similar to a pirate from Kentucky with a head cold... something my friends give me a hard time about quite frequently."

1 comment:

  1. At last! A decoder ring for our loved ones...who aren't from Michigan.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.