Posts about Reisu every Monday and Thursday

Friday, February 12, 2010

Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk

Why the classic New York accent is fading

I believe from personal experience that this article is true. Not from the perspective of the New York accent, but from a southern one. I grew up in the south, and have always lived in the south, but I lack any variation of a southern accent. The most southern I get is a few words here and there. Not only do southerners never guess I'm from the south upon meeting me, but other Americans very rarely do.

There's lots of reasons for this. My parents, who both grew up in the south don't have much of a southern accent, albeit more than mine. Virtually none of my friends do, and only a small amount of my peers do. The southern accent is and was definitely associated with lack of education, ignorance and just general stupidity. This stereotype exists in our society. I do have some southern friends that maintain their southern accents, and they are far from ignorant or stupid.

The old New York accent has much the same perception.

Is this a bad thing? I personally think it is. As a lover of accents it saddens me to see particularly unique ones die out. I imagine as generations go on accents associated with the working class, like southern and New York accents, will fade out of common use. However language, including accent, is organic. It changes as society changes. It's an unstoppable force that has been going on since communication's beginning. Without it we wouldn't have the language we have today at all. Loss of accents is simply one of the unfortunate side effects.

No comments:

Post a Comment