A Conversation for Alaska, USA

Southern Accents

Post 1

Sir Mattamatt

The assertion in this article that "Most residents, particularly the men, middle-aged and older, speak with a southern accent," is strange to me. Having spent the majority of my youth in Alaska, I have never found this to be the case. Sure, there are people from southern states who bring their accents with them, but by and large, the Alaskan "accent" is quite plain.

Also, the assertion that many Alaskans own guns and don't use them is also false. If you've ever driven on any of the major highways, you'll know that every single sign along the way is riddled with bullet holes. It's an Alaskan pasttime that ranks right up there with combat fishing.

Girls do wear mini-skirts in the dead of winter, and March, not April is tank-top and shorts weather. However, the snow only melts when the temperature is above freezing, because for frozen water to melt (on its own) when the temperature is below its freezing point is thermodynamically impossible. Salt is generally not used on the roads (a situation where snow would melt even below freezing), due to the problems involved with moose coming out to lick the road. Cars and moose don't generally get along (the moose and the car both lose most of the time), so instead they spread cinders on the road and encourage everyone to get studded tires on their 4-wheel drive vehicles.

All that said, not to be argumentative or overly corrective, but simply to set the facts straight. Alaska is a wonderful place, full of extraordinary and amazing things found nowhere else in the country. I highly encourage a visit - you'll find hospitable people and amazing scenery.


Southern Accents

Post 2

Jimi X

Hi Sir Mattamatt!

It sounds like you've got a lot of insight into the Alaskan experience...

If you'd like to write something new, incorporating the correct bits from this entry with the information that you've got, we could get this entry updated into a more accurate format.

The mechanism for submitting updated entries for the Edited Guide is located at A496451

I'm a bit of a fan of Alaska, one of my friends from college moved up there after graduation and he's had great experiences. One day when I scrape enough cash together, I'd like to make the trip myself...

Anyway, hope you give this updating idea some consideration!

smiley - cheers

- Jimi X


Southern Accents

Post 3

Sir Mattamatt

Hey -

Thanks for the idea. I'll give it some thought. However, given my passion for my home state, an updated version would undoubtedly look nothing like the current entry. I don't want to step on toes or steal thunder... let me know what you think about completely overhauling that entry.

Matthew


Southern Accents

Post 4

Jimi X

It's perfectly acceptable...

The concept behind h2g2 is to build a collaborative Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything.

If somebody have information or 'unconventional knowledge' about a certain topic, they should feel free to help update the existing stuff. There's not a formal Updating scheme yet. But a bunch of volunteers work with the h2g2 staff to find and update entries that need it.

So if you've got the time, I've got the smiley - ale. smiley - winkeye


Southern Accents

Post 5

Sir Mattamatt

Alright. I'll see if I can come up with an updated entry that sheds some light on the wonders of Alaska. It might be a while - between research and homework, life tends not to have much free time...

Thanks!

Matthew


Southern Accents

Post 6

Jimi X

No worries there.

Part of the whole vibe of h2g2 is that we don't do deadlines...

Something Douglas Adams once said about the whooshing sound deadlines make as they pass by. smiley - winkeye


Southern Accents

Post 7

Lord Dimwit

About this--while it's true that Anchorage seems to be relatively devoid of that sugary drawl that we associate with the Southern states, there's been an odd tendency in more rural areas to develop an accent that is not immediately identifiable as Southern, but rather seems like a slightly scrambled attempt to sound like one takes one's summer holidays in Texas. I'm not sure if this can be called an "Alaskan accent."

I also can't offer a reasonable explanation; to the best of my knowledge, Alaska sees rather little immigration from the Southern states and the accent is therefore probably fabricated. It's been suggested that people in rural Alaska make a lifestyle identification with the South, but there are quite a few problems with this model as well.

So if anyone can shed light on the matter, I'd appreciate it. Y'all.
**Frobozz Node #78**


Southern Accents

Post 8

Alaska Grown

I cannot shed light on the matter, although I have heard the accent. I do wish that Alaska had its own accent. A state identity would be very nice.(By the way, the assertion was never that "Alaska is just like everywhere else", we always say that we are very different and then rush to conform.)I suppose that conformity is the problem. Alaska is becoming more and more like the lower 48. I've written a guide entry something to that effect, but I want to edit it a little before I post it. I am afraid it is too caustic and may make me sound like an idiot.


Southern Accents

Post 9

Avatar129

Wow! It's been so long, I didn't realize this article survived over five years and a move to another site! Nice to be back around here.

Being the author of the article, I personally was born in Mount Vernon, WA, but move to Alaska at the age of three, and lived there for almost thirty years. (I've been in Seattle for the past three years now.) Grew up in Kenai, went to college in Anchorage. I've never truly known anyplace else, except for a few years here and there in Seattle. (I'd be happy to argue about who loves Alaska more, too. smiley - winkeye )

I'm aware of the time-honored sport of sign-hunting. That's why I said "many Alaskans own guns but never use them," instead of "most Alaskans."

Saying "March, not April is tank-top and shorts weather" seems like an odd nitpick to me.

Saying that the people are hospitable seems rather opposite to me; I'd wager that Alaska contains some of the rudest people on the planet (though again, I've hardly known any place else).

The assertion that "Alaska is just like every place else" is something I hear every summer when the "Visitors" (a.k.a. tourists) come and expect igloos and sled-dogs. "Oh, just visit Spenard or Dimond, you'll see it's just like Idaho or Kansas!" Or some such along those lines. I myself have said this to visitors on numerous occasions, but I had one of my many long talks with Wayne Mergler, Alaskan author/editor of "Last New Land." We both came to the conclusion that Alaska is definately *not* like every place else, but it's an Alaskan sentiment to try to bring the focus off the pipeline and the gold rush days, in an attempt to be more "a part of the rest of the country." And we realized that becoming "like anyplace else" is downright *impossible* ...and thank goodness for that!

Interesting that it was mentioned that Anchorage seems devoid of the Southern drawl; that's where I've found it most prominent -- again, mostly among middle-aged men. Perhaps it's because the people in the rural parts move to Anchorage and bring it with them.

Anyway. Now I'm really curious if anyone will bother to look at this three-year-old conversation. But I just had to pipe up and explain why I wrote what I wrote!


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Southern Accents

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