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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sounding like a local

Wherever we travel, there's a always a certain level of acceptance that comes from sounding as though you're a local. Not necessarily a native, but someone who knows the local terminology. Even when you tell people that you're "not from around here" you're not treated as much like an outsider if you have at least some of the right lingo.

In Minnesota it may mean nodding knowingly when someone says "uff da". Sometimes it's food related like knowing what a grinder is.

In Massachusetts, part of it is in the pronunciation of some of the town names. We stay in Salem, get our annual physicals in Haverhill and do some of our shopping in Peabody. Salem isn't a problem but the other two will get snickers from locals if you pronounce them they way they're spelled.

Haverhill. No, it's not Haver-hill. It's Hay-vril with the emphasis on the first syllable. That's the easy one.<

Peabody is more difficult to master. It's not Pea-body. Its Peeb-dee - again with the emphasis on the first syllable. Takes some practice to avoid putting a vowel between the b and the d.

It's all just part of our ongoing education.

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