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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Talking Minnesotan

Over the weekend, I did a little searching for how Minnesotans talk. Unfortunately, a lot of what I came up with involved an out-state accent ala Fargo. Um, no. Not in the Twin Cities.

Or I guess I should say you won't hear that accent from people who grew up in the Twin Cities. (FYI, we always refer to them as The Cities.) People who grew up out state might have that accent to some degree, but they tend to lose some of it the longer they live in The Cities. Notice there are only two parts of Minnesota--Out State and the Cities. :-)

One of the blogs I stumbled across was by some woman who'd moved from California to Virginia to Minnesota and her post irritated the crap out of me. First of all, no one I've ever talked to pronounces bag like beg. Ever, chick. Not ever. Second, I've never heard anyone call a snack, lunch. FFS. Lunch is the noon meal, dinner is the evening meal.

Of course, some of the terminology changes in farm country. They call lunch Dinner and Dinner, Supper. But in all my years in MN, not once, not even when I attended college in Morris, MN, have I heard anyone--city or out state--refer to a snack as lunch.

This same blogger bitched about use of the word pop. This is another FFS. Half the country says soda, the other half says pop and some say tonic or Coke. If you want to actually see some statistics on it, there's an entire website devoted to it.

Anyway, my irritation with said blogger is what's inspired this post. I'm so sick of seeing people perpetuating the stereotype that we all sound like the movie Fargo. BTW, according to what I learned in my college linguistics class, the "standard" dialect used by newscasters, movies, radio, etc as the US accent? That's the Northern Dialect. Where does Minnesota fall? Into the Northern Dialect.

But yes, there are some moments where we do sound "Minnesotan." Sometimes that long O just rolls out unexpectedly. Sometimes I do it on purpose. Keep in mind that sometimes I also roll out the Chicago accent on some words unexpectedly.

Next blog post I'll talk about some of the things that are Minnesotan.