Friday, August 05, 2005

Makin' Groceries

I love Radio for the Blind! Every Friday afternoon two ladies read coupons from the newspaper, and it is supremely entertaining. The ladies are so cute and enthusiastic about coupons (they can't help but eagerly discuss menu options for the particularly good deals), and their accents are so profoundly New Orleans. It's the real, thick "yat"* accent that you don't hear anywhere else in the world.

It should be required listening for any producer, director, or actor making a movie set in New Orleans. Then we would no longer have to suffer through depictions of the city populated by citizens with utterly incongruous and erroneous Southern drawls.

* For those of you from the great beyond, this is a reference to the local greeting, "where y'at?" Yats are the old-school, white, historically working class residents of the city (although many yats have migrated to the suburbs and neighboring parishes, and the yat accent is not nearly as common as it once was in the city proper). The accent is not the least bit Southern. People often say it resembles a Northeastern accent which is closer to the mark, but even that's a stretch.


  1. Hmm, I think you have, in a roundabout way, satisfactorily answered my question about the accents in "A Love Song for Bobby Long". Thanks.

  2. Anonymous11:25 PM

    Do we need to get nerdy and bring the Acadians into this? Don't get much more north-eastern than that.
    Getting perhaps more personal than blogs (I really cannot help but cringe at that word) are supposed to get ("supposed to" get), I recall a certain someone's Uncle George--the first what-I'd-in-my-ignorance-of-all-
    things-NOLA-call-real New Orleans accent: It struck me as Boston with a beautiful Virginia Down East fog draped in spanish moss.

  3. Yes, Cousin George has a classic yat accent. Perfect example.

    As for the Acadians, interesting point, but really, the Cajuns have yet again their own entirely unique accent, originally imported from the great North but then soaked in a centure and a half of swamp funk.

    Probably, a more likely explanation for the similarities are similar immigration patterns. Boston, New York, and New Orleans are all port cities that received large influxes of Irish, German, and Italian immigrants back in the day. The linguistic soup that got cooked up here has distinct similiraties to the analogous versions of those Northern cities.

  4. Anonymous12:28 PM

    I agree, Im from New Orleans and i always recognized the similarity between New York and Boston accent and New Orleans.