From North to South and East to West, accents in the United States vary greatly. Every region injects their own special flavor into the English language then accuses other groups of "talking funny".
The Boston area has received their share of guffaws and finger pointing. Free from pronouncing the many "r"s rolled out by other states, their unique accent sometimes causes outsiders to mistakenly believe Bostonians are lacking in intelligence. That's ridiculous of course, with Haahvid College looming only four subway stops from downtown. Those outsiders probably also believe a British accent signifies higher intelligence.
The English language is malleable and Bean Town citizens have taken advantage of that by making adjustments. With wild abandon, they play a kind of handheld sliding tile puzzle game for language, shifting the letter "r" from traditional positions into the most unexpected places. For instance, while you may have an idea, they have an idear. They also have an aunt Glorier and they get facials at a health spar.
Small variances in the accent can be heard from city to city in the Boston outskirts. In Fall Riva a hot dog is a hot dog. But just over the bridge in Sommaset, a hot dog becomes a haht doag, which seems to have a strictly New York influence rather than something devised by Boston pilgrims. It clearly makes sense that small states jammed so close together might spill their lilt into neighboring communities.
But why is it that natives of Boston can pronounce the name Clarence yet identify the father of our country as Jawge Washington? Were you aware the Hyannispoht Kennedy's had a son named Robbit and one named Edwood? For many, pronouncing Mary is easy but Maahk is not. Like shooting dice, natives give their offspring names like Maahleen and Peta, betting against the kids growing up, moving to other parts of the country and changing their given names to Marlene and Peter.
The Boston accent has a cadence to it that poses a challenge for many actors. Ever see someone tie a cherry stem in a knot using only their tongue? That's the kind of contortion required to correctly speak with a Boston accent if you weren't born and bred by the Charles River. The long-running TV show Cheers starred two of the most proficient actors in the warped accent, Rhea Perlman as bar maid Carla Tortelli and John Ratzenberger as postal employee Cliff Clavin. Both added authenticity to the program. For these actors drawers became draws, twenty-five cents was a quahda, and the ultimate award for the actor, an Osca.
I grew up in the historic, original whaling city, New Bedfid. My personal experience demonstrates that it takes years to dilute an unmistakable New England accent. Once you do, you think you're done with it. But then you go home to visit family, and in twenty-five minutes you're sitting on the couch asking for a glass of Chaahdonay.
Along with the accent comes a wicked good sense of humor that allows Bostonians to appreciate their unique sound rather than make excuses. Apologies? Never! Instead they post a giant billboard on the interstate just outside of Logan airport with a simple message: BOSTON MUSEUM OF AHT.