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Canadian Accent In Question — Is JJ for Real?

Posted by

Nov 03, 2010
The Sporkful

Jj From Vancouver Calls In
Listen on Posterous

We received this email from Jeff in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, regarding our Call In Smorgasbord #2 episode...

The gentleman from Vancouver who was opposed to ice cream cake had some fair points in his argument. However, there was one that, as a Canadian, I have a problem with:

"...I think [ice cream cakes] are the most awful and disgusting thing in the world. And I always fight with my friends aboot this..."
Aboot? I'm calling this guy out. You guys probably know that "aboot" is a Canadian stereotype, and in rare cases, it exists. But I respectfully refuse to believe that his usage was genuine for the following reasons:
1. Geography. J.J. says he is from Vancouver. Nobody I have ever met who lives in Western Canada uses "aboot." This particular way of saying "about" has steadily faded from the Canadian lexicon, because as the American Broadcast Accent gained popularity in Western Canada through the media, people with more traditional Canadian accents adopted this newer way of speaking. If he was from Eastern Canada -- where the accent is thicker -- and moved to Vancouver, in all likelihood his accent would have diminished (whether consciously or not), since the Eastern and Western accents aren't so far removed that there is any difficulty in swapping between them.

2. "Aboot" is the only indication of a Canadian accent in his speech. He says "you know," and "i suppose" with no hint of a Canadian accent. "Know" and "suppose" are dead-giveaways to the Canadian accent.

3. Exaggeration. While some Canadians pronounce "about" differently than Americans, it's rarely pronounced "aboot". Someone with a thick accent will almost always say something that sounds more like "aboat", or somewhere between "aboat" and "about"

4. It's funny to reinforce people's untrue stereotypes about your culture, because they can end up looking dumb.

In summation, I call shenanigans. 

The audio of JJ "from Vancouver's" call is above. Take a listen, and tell us what you think. Is JJ's Canadian accent legit?

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