Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm from Io-way

I was at the grocery store this morning, and the check-out lady noticed I was buying party-type food. She asked what was going on. I said that WCK's grandparents were coming to visit.

"From Iowa, right?" she said.

Hmm. I'm at this Hy-Vee all the time (I was there twice today), and I'd been through this check-out lady's line before, but I couldn't remember if I'd ever had a conversation with her about the fact that I'm from Iowa. I said that these are the grandparents from South Dakota, but my parents live in Iowa.

"I knew you were from Iowa," she said, "because of your accent."

What? I have an accent?

"I have an accent?" I said.

"Yes," said Check-Out Lady. "YOU REALLY DO."

I didn't even know an Iowa accent existed. I thought the whole point of being from Iowa is that you didn't have an accent. That's what sets us apart from those poor, unfortunate souls up in Minnesota. Now I am very self-conscious. If anyone knows what an Iowa accent sounds like, please let me know, so I can quit doing it.

6 comments:

Jen said...

Wait a second! There is no accent. I think it was just a lucky guess. Like maybe your daughter was so well behaved that she just knew you must be from Iowa. Or she was impressed with your amazing Iowan fashion sense. Or something. There is no accent.

Anonymous said...

The accent is THERE IS NO ACCENT! We may be the only state in the WORLD that doesn't have one!! Down here, it's MISSOURAH (clearly wrong phonentically) and up there it's MINNISOTAH (again, clearly wrong!) I agree with Jen. It must be your amazing demeanor or your daughter's behavior - but there is NO SUCH THING as an Iowa accent.

tk said...

Absolutely no accent here! My son did say y'all for awhile after three years in the Air Force in Texas, but he's over that now and is back to speaking "normally" again.

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I don't get it either. When I moved to Iowa from Minnesota I was ridiculed non-stop about my accent. It finally stopped when I taught myself to change from a long to short 'a' in bag, rag, tag, etc. and apparently my "about" self-improved. Now I live in Arizona and it only comes up very rarely when I say words that end in "out". I've never heard anyone speak of an Iowan accent.

Karen's Sister said...

Accent? Never heard of it. In fact, we don't even have any cool slang terms to call out own, like "wicked," or "dude" (though we do call carbonated beverages "pop"). I just like being from Iowa, especially in the last election. The other night on the news, the reporters were so amazed that more than 61% of the people who voted for Barack Obama were white, and this was a national referendum on race. What? I thought, diversity in Iowa means are you Norwegian or are you Swedish? Iowa is 98% Euro-American, and we picked him first last January, even with all of the candidates at our disposal! We know a good president when we see one. Oh, and we don't have an accent.

La Cootina said...

As a native of another midwestern state that starts with an "I" -- and who lived in Des Moines for 2.5 years... I refute the idea that there is an Iowan accent. I always explain to people that national newscasters, no matter where they are from originally, are always taught to speak "midwestern," because this is considered the No-Accent "accent."