Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nature and Nurture

Go figure.

In the hard-core Utah accent, tail sounds like tell, former sounds the same as farmer, and creek sounds like crik.

Three of my five children have lived their entire lives in Utah. (Well, Levi moved here when he was three months old.) And one of them speaks with a pronounced Utah accent. Guess who?


Occasionally, I can't understand what she means when she says something like, "Jesse is using my mermaid tell." And she struggles to sound out words when her understanding of vowels is so warped.

She joined our family just a month past her second birthday. Was her accent already in place then?


  1. I think maybe accents are a little more by choice than most people want to admit. Take for example, Ruth. She had a Texas accent within a couple of years of moving there. I lived there for five years and chose to never speak at all Texan (until I went on my mission and realized that being from Texas was a bit of a novelty and sometimes chose to play it up a little).

    Anyway, the point is, maybe Haley talks that way because she is less secure and wants to fit in. So she chooses to speak like her peers.

    (I think I just accidentally insinuated that Ruth was insecure and I didn't really mean to do that.)

  2. My Aunt Joan, who grew up in Idaho pronounces "corn" as "carn". We always laugh about it and imitate her. It's funny.

  3. We had some elderly neighbors in Logan who - the husband told us about his farmer wife and the wife told us about her farmer husband - and we didn't understand because they did not live on a farm. We finally realized that they had both been married before.

    My favorite Utah phrase, which is really quite usefull: "a couple few" (2 or more).

  4. That last comment was made by me- Mark Ashurst-McGee (Angela's husband)

  5. We will ALL be assimilated.

    My very favorite is when they announce in church that we will be singing: "We'll sing all hell to Jesus' name." Cracks me up every time.

  6. My kids have a great time making jokes about the Utah accent. I think sometimes it's not even an area, just your upbringing. I think I was in college before I realized that you had laundry to wash not warsh. Somehow I don't think that was an ABQ thing.