Thanks for a great article! I think that only people who have traveled a lot and lived in other places for long periods get it. I lost my accent for a bit (thankfully!) but hear it slip back into my speech every so often. Makes me cringe. ;-)
Kee-yan-dee? Are you serious? I am a Clevelander, born and raised, and never in my fifty-two years have I heard anyone pronounce anything the way the author of this article insists we are pronouncing words. The only time I'll hear a "yeah" in anything is when someone actually says "yeah". We have some pretty hard, short vowels and pronounce our "r's" pretty hard, that much I've noticed. But the whole stick a "y" sound in where it doesn't belong? I think not.
I've heard it, I've said it, but I definitely think it's more urban than suburban or rural. And it's definitely something that is reinforced with folks who are ESL (English as a second language) or multi-generational. Let's embrace it. In addition to the CAVS, Michael Symon, and all of our great CLE history, it's who we are.
Clevelanders talk normal proper English everyone else has the accent.......
After 24 years here, people can still tell that I'm from Sha-CAW-go, Ill-ANNOY. I KNOW we said kee-an-dee and dee-add-ee ...we are what we are. When I was in sixth grade I took a dramatics class at a little theater and our diction coach used to yell at us about our Chicago accents. I always thought it was just a Jewish thing, until I moved to other states as an adult.
But Clevelanders (my wife is fifth generations) most definitely do NOT sound like Chicagoans. They don't sound like anything or anybody else. To me they sound "normal"...almost like radio and TV folks...unless they have ancestors and relatives from Southern Ahia. That's a whole different ballgame.
Gotta go get da kee-yat outta da ay-ell-ee...or my dee-add-ee ain't gonna gimme enny kee-an-dee. See ya in twunny minnits. Hey, jeet jet? No...jew?
Chuckles the Clown
I moved to columbus as a teen and was constantly asked to say Mom and Pop because the kids there thought it was funny. they all sounded like stoopid southerners to me! After returning to CLE 10 years later, our accent is very clear in my ears. Not everyone here has it, but it's real, folks.
I work in sales and have grown up in the Cleveland area my whole life. I can assure you we have an accent that I wasn't even aware of it until a few years ago. When my company has national sales meetings and sales reps from all over the country come together they all make fun of the way I talk. It's very subtle to use but I can assure you it's there. Literally it's the running joke at sales meetings. Hi I'm Aaa-shley I'm from Cleee-vel-aaand. I find it humorous and unique so I don't mind. Good article!
The denial is strong in here. Cleveland does have an accent. Listen to the Triv Show, that's it.
Nope, born and raised in NEO and I've never spoken like this or noticed anyone I know who speaks like this.
I've lived in Cleveland my entire life and NEVER have I said 'kee-yan-dee' for 'candy' or 'cot' for 'cat'. That's how people from the Pittsburgh area say it, not people from the Cleveland area. I'm confused.....
Having lived here my whole life, I didn't really notice the NEO or upper-rust belt accent until I moved away. I assure you, friends, after hearing the difference... if your husband's name is Todd, you're calling him Tahd, not Todd. Naht that there's anything wrong with that, but we definitely sound weird anywhere else we go. Think how somebody from Wisconsin sounds to you; that's how we sound to everyone outside of this area.
I have lived in Northeast Ohio my entire life. I don't know anyone who pronounced cat or candy that way. I have traveled extensively and people have actually asked me to repeat particular phrases for them because they say that have never heard anyone speak so properly and without an accent of any sort. When I tell them where I am from they say, "Oh - that's why!"
If there is such a deep accent here, it would have been helpful to hear of more than two examples ...
Excellent article, but the claim that the Northern Cities Sound Shift represents "the largest transformation of spoken English in more than a thousand years" is pretty obviously absurd. How about the Great Vowel Shift or the cumulative phonological processes that led us from Old > Middle > Early Modern > Modern English?
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I used to caddy for Mike Trikilis. He was the rudest and cheapest bastard you'd ever want to me. He had the most expensive clubs, Callaways, and couldn't play worth a shit. He used to smoke cigars that looked like crooked twigs off a dead tree.
I went through the Mic-O-Say hazing back in the late nineties. We were insulted, pushed and aggressively made to stand in a certain way, forced to stand and sit for what seemed endless amounts of time, definitely ran in the dark, and forced to drink that awful concoction out of a shell or horn. Who knows what elements of all this I'm forgetting now. Sorry to all of you who witnessed more serious secrets and have to live with it.
September 28- 4, 2016
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