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Monthly Archives: August 2002

Toidy-Toid an’ Toid

I picked up on a lot of the New York culture passively. It wasn’t that difficult–a lot of my peers were from the area and were fine, upstanding New Yorkers. Brooklyn and Queens were especially well-represented; toss in some Long Islanders for good measure. So it wasn’t too long before I started to drop my jaw just a little lower in the course of everyday speech–an affectation that means when I think I’m going to say “coffee” like a good Midwestern boy, it comes out “cawfee.” Similarly with words like “awrange” and “Lawng-gyeland.” I think my speech was only modified when I’d be talking to someone with a like drawl; otherwise, I spoke “normally,” an accent that isn’t quite the Midwestern accent that people are familiar with from movies like Fargo, nor is it a true Chicago accent, either. It’s just standard (American) English.

There is a native culture here in Pittsburgh but it’s not as easy to find, since most of the people I interact with don’t affect yinzer mannerisms–they’re not Pittsburgh natives!