June 13 12

I have spoken about my son’s accent before.

The Kennedy-esque Nantucket Nasal Nip—it’s a thing, I swear. Twitter and @CLumberKim told me that the Preppy Handbook calls it that, SO THERE—mixed with Eastern European mixed with a twinge of Southern mixed with English English (‘ello Guv’nah!) mixed with deep, deep Canadian.

This week, though. I haven’t been able to stop giggling. This kid, man. I mean, typically accent conversations are ones I am apt to participate in, like the whole ‘do you pronounce Don and Dawn the same way?’ because I, myself, do not, thanks to growing up primarily in the midwest. But I know that some people do, especially the cast of Mad Men, since when Don hired Dawn it became a thing at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce.

One morning this week, Josh was frantically searching the house for a bobby pin.

Only, it was a BAAAWWWWBBY pin he was asking for.

“Bobby, you mean?”

“Yes. Bawwwwby.”

“No. Baaahby. Like the sheep sound.”

“No. Baaawby.”

“Like the Kennedy?”

“I guess.”


One morning this week, Josh was talking about lobster.

Only, it was a LAAAAAWWWBSTAH he was talking about.







I played him this video and he says that he can’t hear a difference.


Now I’m worried that I might be having a Hurley in season 2 of LOST when he sees that dude who used to be on Sex & The City walking around the island in a bathrobe kind of moment. Or, you know, a moment where I tell Twitter that I’m spending my evening trying to come up with the perfect Roller Derby name even though I have never done any sort of roller derby ever. The best one I came up with was Punky Bruiser, by the by. But the emails telling me that I would be a kick-ass rollergirl have been really encouraging.

Tell me I’m not crazy. You can hear it, *right*? I mean, do I have to get out the camera and record him saying that “Oh my gOd, he plays hOckey a lOt in his sOcks for a dOllar.” because that one might be my favorite one. Oh my GAWD. I guess I just—mistakenly, I realize—assumed that my children would speak exactly like I do. But they were born in Canada, go to school in Canada, and are surrounded by Canadians. I guess it only makes sense that they would speak absolutely nothing like I do.

(I do, however, adore that they say toque and loonie and twoonie and eh.)

He doesn’t say zed. He doesn’t say Pass-ta or Maz-da or pla-za or dra-ma or ta-co or ll-ama like Canadians, though. And I’m Mama, not Mummy. And he says process, progress, and project the same way I do.

And he knows how pronounce bagel and Las Vegas and shone, though. So at least I have done something right! 


I have gone and done the accent VLOG for y’all.

So, I’m supposed to say the following words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And then answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

And then I go over some lovely other words at the end. Hello, ramble!

I forgot, however to mention the way some of my most favorite people on the planet pronounce the words avatar, wifi, and url. It’s adorable, this.


  1. My first realization that I had an accent was when I studied abroad in Israel. Being a “New Yorker” I thought it was hysterical that my new friends from across the globe were saying the same things, but really weirdly. My friend from Chicago had us all repeating this phrase. “Mark, go park the car”. But mid-westerners were saying Mahrrk, goh pahrk the cahrr”. To this day it sounds funny.

    What’s not funny? When my American Israeli and Israeli American kids make fun of me when I say the words “cawfee” and tawk”. Whaddayagonnado?

    Comment by Cheri on June 13, 2012
  2. I hear it a little bit, so you’re not completely crazy, though I was expecting him to leave off the “r”, too, and then he’d sound like all of my family members.

    Comment by Avitable on June 13, 2012
  3. He thought it was a trick…when I put the camera in front of him, so he dropped the -STAH. I think he was putting that part on for show.

    but the LAAAAWWWB…that’s all him. Hee!

    Comment by ali on June 13, 2012
  4. Dawn and Don ARE two different words.

    I never knew I had an accent until I moved to AZ.

    Comment by Kristabella on June 13, 2012
  5. You’re so cute. I can’t hear very well here at work, but you look good! Also, I WANT AN ACCENT. I might do this too! I NEVER VLOG!

    Comment by Loukia on June 13, 2012
  6. I never do either! Mostly because I can’t even say the word VLOG.

    Comment by ali on June 13, 2012
  7. Ay-vay-tor

    I also say I-run for iron.

    My pet peeve is when people pronounce library – libary

    Comment by Sharon on June 13, 2012
  8. I so wanna do this – especially since I don’t say all those Canadianisms the same way as you described! I probably should wash my hair first tho. Ha. Also AGREED on VLOG. Can’t we just say video?

    Comment by Karen Sugarpants on June 13, 2012
  9. so curious which ones you don’t say like a canadian 🙂

    Comment by ali on June 13, 2012
  10. Listen, I’m totally going to do this but I hear NO difference in your Dawn and Don. None. Maybe it’s just because I pronounce them the same way so I hear them the same way. I also revise my current statement about bobby pin, I say it just like you do.

    Comment by Jen on June 13, 2012
  11. I told you that you don’t say BAAAAWBBY pin! xoxo

    Comment by ali on June 13, 2012
  12. Seeing your vlog just made me smile today. Miss your face! I’m up in Boston today, and hearing all of the accents is making me giggle a bit. I definitely heard a “pahk” for “park” last night when asking for directions.

    And of course, after living in Georgia for the last 16 years (that is just crazy!), I know I have an accent.

    Comment by Darcey on June 13, 2012
  13. You totally have an accent—a super lovely one!

    Comment by ali on June 13, 2012
  14. I love this! OK, in Josh’s video, I couldn’t tell a difference. But in yours, when you were reviewing “lobster” and “bobby,” I TOTALLY could. Oh! But when you said “Don” and “Dawn,” those sounded exactly the same to me.

    It also drives me crazy the way Canadians say words like project, process and template. “Tem-PLATE” is just wrong! 🙂

    Comment by Rebecca (Bearca) on June 13, 2012
  15. you are crazy, lady.

    don and dawn are totally different.

    also, how about caught and cot. Did you hear the difference there?

    Comment by ali on June 13, 2012
  16. Love this! I get to see your face tomorrow!!!

    Comment by Kristabella on June 13, 2012
  17. This is craziness.

    PS I talk like TV, and I will punch anyone that says I sound like a Valley Girl.

    Comment by heather... on June 13, 2012
  18. My pet peeves are more to do with grammar. I hate “I seen” and “you’s”. Also when people say “dezember”

    Comment by Katy on June 13, 2012
  19. Your Don and Dawn sound alike to me, and so do caught and cot, so the difference must be subtle.

    How does Josh pronounce the o in his name?

    Comment by Alison on June 13, 2012
  20. Okay! I am Canadian. I was born in Montreal and have lived in Vancouver now for over half of my life. In your vlog you say all of those words like I do. You also answered all of the questions like I would with the exception of y’all. I’d say, “Hey guys!”You must be a full fledged Canadian now. (I lived in the States from the age of 2-7. My pronunciations couldn’t have stuck from then, right? Also I can’t hear the difference between your Dawn and Don.

    Comment by Kyme on June 13, 2012
  21. I’m going to do this tonight and you will be able to see how there is more than one way to pronounce fire.

    Comment by Jennifer on June 13, 2012
  22. As a Dawn I can speak to the differences I have heard all my life in the pronunciations. Canadians pronounce Dawn and Don exactly the same! So as a child all the kids in my class would give me Valentine’s to DON because I’m guessing when they talked about me at home all their mommies thought it was a boy in the class 🙂 I have had more than one co-worker have to explain to their significant other that the person they talk about at work all the time is a girl because said husband/boy friend thought they were spending all this time with another guy. My step-father was British and he said my name very drawn out. Some Canadians thought he called me down by the way he pronounced it. I preferred his pronunciation 🙂

    Comment by Dawn on June 13, 2012
  23. Ali Martell you should do more vlogs and just call them videos… you are so damn funny!

    Also – Dawn, Don – what, you sound exactly the same!

    Comment by nicole on June 15, 2012
  24. Oh my gOd, I am so sad I missed this conversation!!!
    This was the funniest vlog I have seen in a really long time.
    First of all, vEgas. Yes, vEgas is pronounced vEgas, not vAgas. Even the cast of The Big Bang Theory had that one right!
    I did not hear a difference in your caught and cot at all, but I did a little bit in your bobby pin. Just a little.
    The sun shone, really? That is about (obvs said like a canadian, aboot) the strangest phrase I have ever heard… shone…hmmm, really?
    Ok, if you are still answering these comments, one more phrase question.
    What do you say when you are going to shower in the morning? “I am _____________________ shower” – My south of the border sister in law says it so wrong. ha.

    Comment by Amy on June 17, 2012
  25. Do you mean “having a shower” vs. “taking a shower” ?

    I say taking a shower.

    Comment by alimartell on June 17, 2012
  26. Yep, thats it! So, where are you going to take it? 😉

    Comment by Amy on June 17, 2012

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>