Well, this is rude.
In a poll of 1.5 million social-media followers of media site’s Big 7 Media, the “Texan” accent was said to be the sexiest-sounding voice in the U.S.Somehow, “New York” came in third, but “New Jersey” came in at second to last. Something is not right here.
Here’s how the site compared the two accents:
New York accent
The New York accent is probably one of the most recognisable dialects in all of America, thanks to many a famous movie. NYC speakers have loooong vowels and short ‘a’s. Fast and hypernasal, yet quite charming at times.
New Jersey accent
North Jerseyan? Think ‘cawfee’ and dropping the ‘Rs.’ South Jerseyan? It’s more like the Philly accent, but not close enough to bring up Jersey’s overall sex appeal.
The poll differentiates between “New York” and “Long Island” in its rankings, putting the island accent at dead last on its list. The poll doesn’t separate the North Jersey sound with the South Jersey sound.
This almost seems purposefully ironic, considering the parallels South Jersey accents share with the Philadelphia accent, which ranked in the top 10. I told you there was something not right here.
Here’s what they said about the Philly accent:
One of the world’s most unique dialects is in the Delaware Valley – the infamous Philly talk. The words ‘fight’ and ‘bike’ sound more like ‘foit’ and ‘boik,’ while ‘very’ becomes ‘vurry.’ It’s a thick accent, but hey, if it’s good enough for Will Smith…
All this being said, most people can’t hear their own accents. It turns out we’re not very good at listening to ourselves.
“Show me a person you think doesn’t have an accent, and I’ll find someone from a different group who’ll say that person in fact has a very strong accent,” said Montclair State University linguistics professor Jonathan Howell. “In other words, it’s all about your perspective.”
Does this mean there’s a wrong way to say “talk” or “water?” No, not at all. But stereotypes about the accent can affect perception.
So, if you’re trying to explain to your friends where your accent lands, here’s a breakdown of pronunciation of nine words in three types of New Jersey accents: