Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Utah Accent

Utahns like to talk funny. It's true. What's funnier is that Utahns don't think they talk funny. That's because most words are pronounced correctly, but the ones that aren't really stand out - kinda like nails on a chalk board.

This was a topic of conversation at work a while ago. In a nutshell, there are a few rules to correctly pronounce words like a true Utahn:
  1. All dipthongs become single vowels. Examples: Sales is pronounced "sells", mail is pronounced "mell", crayon is pronounced "cren" or "cran".
  2. Ts are not pronounced unless at the beginning of a word and are replaced with glottal stops. Example: Bit is pronounced "bih" with a glottal stop at the end, kitten is pronounced "ki-uhn" with a glottal stop in the middle.
  3. Eliminate middle vowels. Examples: Mirror becomes "mirr", family becomes "famlee".
  4. If you live away from the Wasatch Front, then you have additional options available to you. Measure becomes "mayzhure", milk becomes "melk", norman (or mormon) becomes "narman" (or "marman"), fork becomes "fark" -- the possibilities are endless.
  5. All of the rules above can be combined.
One of my favorite examples of this to prove my point came up recently while talking with some folks at work. The conversation went something like this:

Utahn 1: "Jeff went selling on his vacation."
Utahn 2: "Why would he want to sell stuff while on vacation?"
Utahn 1: "What do you mean? He was selling a boat."
Utahn 2: "He had a boat for sell?"
Utahn 1: "No, he went out selling on the lake."
Utahn 2: "Did he go like boat-to-boat or something?"
Utahn 1: "Huh? No, like a sell boat."
Utahn 2: "Oh, you said selling! I thought you were saying selling."

And Utahns don't think they have a problem.

And then there's the made up swear words Utahns use that make no sense. Like "Oh my heck" and "What the crap" or flip/fetch/freak or just plain old 'F' in lieu of saying f**k.

To use some non-Utahn vernacular, just drop the F-bomb or get off the pot.


Maddy Hamilton said...

SOOO True.
I caught myself saying them as I read it.
LOL. I loved it!

Jeremy said...

"mayzhure"! YES! my co-worker is from utah and this article is dead on.

welcome to bobaethan's website said...

You forgot if we ever say a word with a t in the middle we cut it off like mountain is mounnin and MALK

Vaganova said...

Wait, what is family supposed to sound like? :)

Erik D Shipley said...

Funny but ive lived here my whole life and i dont talk like that.

Miriam said...

I have lived in Utah my whole life and very few people I know say fark instead of fork. And NEVER have I heard marman! However I never realized I said mirr :) I thought no I don't then said it and then, yup I say that :D

dawsoc said...

this sounds like how my grandparents talk... I'm glad my parents never taught me to talk to like that when i was little.

dawsoc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cali said...

lol so true I talk exactly like this except for the fark and malk part, i'm not that country

Cali said...

lol I talk exactly like this except for the fark or malk part, I'm not too country

Cali said...

lol I talk exactly like this except for the fark or malk part, I'm not too country

Cassy tripp said...

fark? malk? mayzhure? i've never left utah and have never heard anyone say these words the t part is true tho i really don't notice it thing is people everywhere talk differently and everyone thinks their accents are weird


Ezra Taft Benson said Book of Marman every 6 months for years and years in conference. Guess that person wasn't raised LDS. All of these were accurate to my recollection. I laughed out loud just remembering.

Jim R said...

Lived in UT for 5+ years now and it's so true and annoying. Was kinda funny at first though.