Every time a Boston movie comes out, it's thick with accents, and always the Bostonians complain that the actors didn't quite get it. So I admire the ambition of Thom Jones, an actor from West Palm Beach who became captivated by regional accents and since making it his specialty has become a go-to guy in that field. In particular, the nuanced pronunciation along the Eastern Seaboard. Which means he'll have to please those demanding New Englanders. From an article in this weekend's Boston Globe:
Thom Jones isn't from these parts. But he knows that in Southie you ride on a hahs, in Rhode Island you ride on a hawse, and in Maine you cahnt get theyah from heyah, but if you could you'd ride a howas.
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At the end of the video above, Jones makes a point about how accents are being decimated by mass media, and I think he's right. It's a depressing idea, isn't it? Or maybe I just have a sentimental attachment, having been born in Chi-cag-o and growing up in Wis-can-sin. Sure, compared to the dulcet tones of our British forebears, our regional American accents are hideous, but they're ours, damn it. And if they fade away, it would mean losing part of local culture.