Today I talked to someone about talking — specifically, the way people talk in Boston.
The Boston accent is famous for its misplaced Rs and strange vowels, as well as its well-known speakers. John F. Kennedy, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Click and Clack from Car Talk, the character Cliff Clavin on Cheers, and even The Simpsons’ Mayor Quimby have all have brought variations on the Boston Accent to the world stage.
It’s a dialect I hear every day, but almost all most people know about it is encapsulated in the phrase “Let’s pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd,” but that isn’t really the way people talk here. To do a little better, I went to someone who could give us the real deal:
MJ Connolly grew up just outside of Boston, and is now a professor of linguistics at Boston College. He’s listened to — and spoken with — the Boston Accent his whole life, so I went to him to tell us what it is.