08 August 2008

Please Call Stella

Last night GLH taped a preseason Cleveland Browns football game, which we watched this evening.

As always happens when watching the first Browns game of the year, we were once again astounded by Bernie Kosar. A former Browns quarterback and now a commentator for the games, Kosar always sounds drunk. Seriously. Completely and totally wasted. He rambles, slurs and babbles his way through his commentary. He only does preseason games. They don't let him near the regular season. I suspect the only reason they keep him on at all is because he is a longtime Cleveland Hero.

This evening I decided to google Bernie Kosar and find out what the heck is the deal with the way he talks. I discovered two prominent theories:
  • He was born and raised in the Youngstown, Ohio area and the way he speaks is merely a sample of that accent.
  • He got hit on the head a whole lot while playing football. Bernie himself doesn't remember the exact number, but during his career he had at least 20 concussions.
So I decided to examine these theories further. (Yep, football really is that boring to me.)

Which is how we got to "Please Call Stella." In attempting to find an example of a typical Youngstown accent, I stumbled across a website. The Speech Accent Archive has 935 examples of English as spoken around the world, both by native and non-native speakers.

Each subject was asked to read a script, which begins with the words "Please Call Stella..."

It was kind of fun. And I was finally able to prove to GLH that Cleveland natives say "da" instead of "the," just like they do in Chicago. Especially when they have been spending time with their Cleveland relatives.

Which means he can no longer mock me for my Minnesota accent coming out when I spend time with my family.

1 comment:

GL'sD said...

Accent, what accent??