On Wednesday March 4th, I will be self-promoting a contest on Twitter, Vine and Instagram with a soon to be named Minnesota company where they are going to be rewarding someone with the best Minnesotan accent some groovy Minnesota related prizes. I’ll have more details Wednesday, but for anyone that isn’t sure what the Minnesota accent sounds like, I found this groovy video from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban. Take a quick look and this should be able to get you in the mood for practicing your best Minnesota accent for the social media contest on Wednesday.
Although I am fortunate enough to hear the Minnesota accent on a daily basis, many people have heard the Minnesota accent from the movie Fargo (fancy fact: Fargo is actually located in North Dakota), the movie Grumpy Old Men or a common belief that since we are so close to Canada, that the Minnesota accent is actually a Canadian one, eh?
Without spoiling too much about the origins of the Minnesota accent, according to the highly reliable Wikipedia, the “Upper Midwest American accent includes the appearance of monophthongs in this region is sometimes explained as a consequence of the high degree of Scandinavian and German immigration to these northern states in the late nineteenth century…an alternative account posits that these monophthongal variants represent historical retentions. Diphthongization of the mid vowels seems to have been a relatively recent phenomenon, appearing within the last few centuries, and did not affect all dialects in the U.K. The monophthongs heard in this region may stem from the influence of Scots-Irish or other British dialects that maintain such forms. The fact that the monophthongs also appear in Canadian English may lend support to this account since Scots-Irish speech is known as an important influence in Canada.”
So when you’re driving about in the snow, get thoses Minnesota accents ready to go for a fun-filled Wednesday, eh?