THE MICHIGAN ACCENT
About the Michigan Accent Pronunciation Guide
"But I don' HAAVE an eccent!"
Silly, silly me.
This project started in 1995, when people in Cincinnati asked me if I was from (*gasp*) Wisconsin! I had never thought I had an accent... in fact, children are often taught in Michigan schools that our "accent" is the closest to the standard most aspired to by American television and radio personalities throughout the country. This belief in being "accentless" had always been there for me.
Until I left home, and then, criminy, the grief I got!
I now know that we do indeed have an accent, and that, while we may sound "Standard American", in certain parts of the state, our accent stands out so badly you could hang a hat on it! I'm just sayin'!
The Michigan Accent Pronunciation Guide started out as a one-sheet of terms that I found unique to Michigan. After putting it up on my original website, I started receiving numerous additions from folks all over the US, then a couple of radio interviews, news mentions, and, as we would say, "there ya havit!"
"What's up with the Michigear thing?"
Colorado has its own branded gear, why not us? I've always wished for things I could buy that showed others where I was from. Hadn't seen much, so I created the Michigear Store. Some of the items there are of questionable appropriateness but hopefully you'll like them. Be sure to click the "Zoom in on the Larger Image" icons to see the words.
The Michigear Store is really meant as more of a joke than anything, not an income stream. Don't take it too seriously.
Please keep in mind that CafePress.com is responsible for all product customer service... I only design the stuff!
"You're missing some things... like 'pop'."
Umm, you really NEED to READ CAREFULLY. "Pop", along with "Ford's" and many other Michiganisms are there... you just need to read the entire Guide.
"A lot of these are wrong. We don't talk this way."
Actually, a lot of Michiganders do talk this way. In fact, they've sent in their own additions to the Guide. Just as there are tons of variations of American English, so too there are tons of variations of the Michigan Accent.
So before you start thinking no one in Michigan actually says "crick", perhaps they don't in Sterling Heights, but perhaps they do in Smith's Creek.
"You're making fun of African Americans."
Ovahsensitive, table for one? Most white kids around Detroit use African-American slang... Eminem's a good example. I've met fluffy blonde, blue-eyed cheerleaders from Farmington who sounded like they grew up on Chalmers.
There's no anti-African-American nor anti-Detroit malice intended at all. Chalk it up to a lot of Beastie Boys tunes.
"Your guide isn't linguistically correct."
Kids, this is a JOKE, not a doctoral thesis. Get over your obvious-impaired selves, already. Jebus.
"But you're not from Michigan!"
Ohhh yes I am. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, I left in the 90's and have lived all over the US. But I still get chided for the accent that comes out when I'm tired or tipsy.
You can take the boy out of the state...
Some folks think that my intent is to make fun... not at all! As a Michigan native, I look back very fondly on my home state. This Guide is strictly meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek. I love Michigan and its unique little idiosyncrasies, and this guide is simply a way to point them out and hopefully get you to laugh at the same time.
Have an addition or correction or just want to say howdy? Submit your addition here or drop me a line at additions [at} michigannative.com. I don't always have time to get back to everyone but I appreciate hearing from you.
An' haaaaaava good one!
The Michigan Accent Pronunciation Guide and all content on this site, unless otherwise noted, is copyright © 1995 - 2013 by Eric Weaver. All rights reserved worldwide. Don't make me go get all litigious on yer ass, okey doke?