i've got cousins from southern suburbs [peeeloos eand oorlin' peark] and southern north america ["y'all say watermelon funny: wahh-tur-MOH-LOHN..."]. as little kids, we cracked each other up with how differently we pronounced the same words.
when i was a tween, i aspired to do some print modeling and commercial work. i had this acting coach in wrigleyville i'd visit once a week. i distinctly recall her reminding me to slow down and repronounce words to stifle the north shore mushmouthedness that raised its ugly head while practicing chips ahoy! cookie commercials.
the very first year i competed in the miss drill team usa pageant, it was pounded into me again that accents aren't good. the winners were the girls with the syrupy drawls from sugarlands, texas: to my amazement, they all performed the speech portion of the contest with regionally-neutral, robotic cadence. i'm pleased to report i placed third in the nation my senior year; my forensic exercise crafted by my mom is forever etched into my brain. practicing the word "prevent" over and over really pissed me off.
in my continuing quest to sound unplaceable, this test proves i still have a long way to go. maybe that's good. i need to embrace my inner yankee-ness, though part of me is silently rejoicing over the "0% dixie".
Your Linguistic Profile:
70% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern