Do New Yorkers have serious issues with their accents, or is it just the rest of the country who holds a grudge against us? According to a recent poll by Harris Interactive, 51 percent of adults polled think a New York accent implies that the speaker is rude. Oh, and those same people think that English accents give people an air of sophistication, and people with southern accents and midwestern accents are nice. But only seven percent of those polled say NY accents are nice. So what is so wrong with how we all tawk?
It seems NYers are split down the middle; half of us are bemoaning the loss of regionalism, the vanilla-fication of the identities which our sharpened, unique accents have given us, while others are going out of their way to lose them as fast as they can. But are people really still playing into the old cliches about dialects and accents? Has The King's Speech not taught us anything about judging people on their voices? That said, if we could talk like Michael Caine all the time, we probably would give up our NY accent in a heartbeat.