I didn’t think so…
So to make sure I watched this video – How to Have a Jersey Accent. The commentator eased me through the first 3 Jersey accent requirements and I thought to myself See. No one in New Jersey actually talks like this. (If you source me the “Jersey Shore” cast I will fist pump you hard in the throat because of the 9 cast members only 2 were actually FROM New Jersey. I know that because I’m actually from New Jersey.)
But then commentator got to #4. Damn it, 4. He said to pronounce double Ts as double Ds. So instead of “letter” it would be pronounced “ledder.” Instead of a crisp “beTTer” it would be pronounced a rougher “beDDer” if you’re from NJ. As I did with the first 3 requirements I pronounced the words out loud. Rats! I do say ledder. Who actually perfectly pronounces those as clear Ts, anyway.
Oh well 1 out of 4 isn’t bad.
Commentator moved to requirement 5. Double rats! I do this too. I pronounce some Os as AWs. I say Dawg and Chawcolate. Not with as much depth as Sammy Sweetheart but I definitely use a little AW in my O. Hmmm…. maybe that’s why my Public Speaking professor knew I was from New Jersey.
But of the 7 requirements Commentator speaks of this is the most important:
In truth I don’t mind that people know I’m from Jersey because of the way I talk:
(My friend Steve [a fellow NYer I should add] sent me this photo he edited for my birthday. He wasn’t wishing the state of Jersey a Happy Birthday.)
Once a long time ago when we were ordering food at a famous fast food hot dog chain, she ordered, “Un hoat dohg.”
The girl looked at her and in her adolescent absurdity said, “Whaaaat?”
My mother repeated her order.
The girl stared blankly at her and then repeated her idiotic sounding, “Huh?”
My mother looked at me and as innocently as she could while exuding an equal amount of sauciness asked me, “Am I saying it wrong?”
I looked at the chick behind the counter and snarled, “No, mom. It’s very clear that you’re ordering un hoat dohg.“
“Ooooh. A h-o-t d-o-g.” Chick pronounced clearly.