An interesting hobby gone wild

You might want to consider your time commitments before you click through this resource.  Even though it’s “just a hobby”, this is just so much fun and so interesting.  If you’ve ever travelled outside your neighbourhood, you’ve undoubtedly heard how different regions pronounce things differently. 

It’s something to be celebrated — and studied.

This is just a hobby of mine, that I thought might be interesting to a lot of people. Some people collect stamps. Others collect coins. I collect dialects. – Rick Aschmann. (Page last updated: March 12, 2016.)

Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll be dealing with at North American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns.

There are two maps for navigation on the site.  If you’re ready to do some scrolling, I’d suggest choosing the larger map.  It gives you more detail about where you’re headed.  Find an area of interest, click and sit back and be ready to watch/listen.

With all the links that are available, you just might find something that’s broken but don’t worry, there’s plenty more.

You won’t get it all in a single sitting so don’t worry.

Once you’re done listening/watching/smiling, dig into the academics in the section called “Guide to the Sounds of North American English”.

Explore topics and linguistics like:

  • How Many Vowels are there in American English?
  • How Many Consonants are there?
  • The Stress Pattern of English, and How it Messes with the Pronunciation
  • Writing the Way We Speak

It’s addictive.  I was hoping that it might help me with Words with Friends but probably not.  I will confess to pronouncing some of the things out loud.  Thankfully, I was alone.  The section about “Writing the Way We Speak” might be particularly interesting to students.  Sō kŏŏd wē rīt ŧħə wā wē spēk, yōōzĭng dĭkshənârē sĭmbəlz?

As an newcomer to the Essex County region, I have always curious about the local pronunciation of Grand Marais or Pierre Street.  I’m not sure that I can fully justify it but I have a little more understanding.

Now to wrap my head around the New England pronunciation of Worcester.


One comment

  1. Worcester took me a while but I have it now. Other towns and cities in New England still trouble me. I may never learn how to say Contoocook here in New Hampshire. One of my favorites is Houston which is very different if you are talking about the city in Texas and the street in New York City. One is hueston and the other is howston.


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