The 'California Accent' Is Hella a Thing

A team of researchers is canvassing California to try and nail down some of the linguistic peculiarities native to its various regions. Conventional wisdom holds that, aside from garish movie caricatures like Spicoli and Cher Horowitz, the English spoken on the west coast is clean, accentless, and standard.

(I'm from Seattle, and we definitely think that about ourselves up here. Question, though: Most of my friends pronounce the word "warm" like "war" with an m on the end, but I pronounce it like "arm" with a w on the front. According to them I am a complete freak. Does anyone else do this? W-ARM. IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. HELP ME.)

What the researchers found was that California is home to some very distinct patterns in accent and dialect.

Eckert and a team of researchers descended upon the non-costal towns of Redding and Merced in the Central Valley to interview residents and indentify California accents and dialect. After the researchers gathered interviews with as many residents as they can, they apply it to a speech corpus to analyze spoken language.

She also learned that many Californians use a nasally "a," found often in the Midwest. Once when she was interviewing a student at a Palo Alto high school, he complained the school was too homogenous, noting there weren't a lot of "blocks." After a moment, she realized he said "blacks."

...She also observed that Californians blended pen/pin, with speakers saying both words the same, much like people in the South.

Aaaaaahahahahaahahah, "pen/pin" just made me laugh for like an hour. Just say "GAHD, betch, gimme back my PIN," over and over again but pretend you're asking for a pen. I am literally going to be screaming in this accent all week. Yahr WALCOME, frehnds and nehbers!!! (Betchess.)

Like, California has hella accents, study confirms [BodyOdd]