Yesterday in this space, I asked if you speak with a Rockford accent (click here if you missed it). I gave you a bunch of examples of the way we here in Rockford tend to pronounce things. We like to think of ourselves as accent-less folk, but according to the results of a study a few years ago by Harvard University, we're wrong.

Today, we'll look at what we call certain things, and how our names for these items give away our geographical heritage.

  • 34.86% of us pronounce "Route" like it rhymes with "out." 15.91% rhyme it with "hoot." 33.41% use both interchangeably.
  • 83.78% of Illinoisans pronounce "cot" and "caught" differently, 16.22% pronounce it the same.
  • 73.26% of us pronounce "almond" as "all-mund." 10.19% say "ah-mund." 2.76% say "aw-mund."
  • 60.94% of Illinoisans pronounce "asterisk" as "aster-isk," but 30.31% say it like "aster-ick."
  • 45.73% of us pronounce the first "d" in "candidate," while 28.90% don't. 16.60% only pronounce the first "d" when speaking slowly and carefully.
  • 64.08% of Illinoisans say "etcetera" like "et-settera," while 17.1% confess to saying it like "eck-settera."
  • 49.30% of us pronounce both syllables in the word "garage," but 40.17% say it with only one syllable, pronouncing the word as "grahj."
  • 49.81% of us pronounce the "c" in "grocery" as "gross-ree," but 47.95% say it like "grow-shree."
  • 56.79% of Illinoisans stress the first word in "cream cheese," but 23.20% stress the second word. 16.99% think it sounds fine either way.
  • 90.30% of us call a sub sandwich a "sub," 50.62% of us call that insect with the glowing butt a "lightning bug," 8.27% call it a "firefly," while 40.64% use both names.
  • And finally, Rockford, Illinois is a "pop" town. 51.7% call soft drinks "pop," while 34.48% say "soda."

And you thought you didn't have an accent.

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