Thursday, October 20, 2011

Names WIth a Joisey Accent

I was pretty much raised in New Jersey, moving there from New York at the age of two. It took me a long time to realize the inevitable: I have a Jersey Accent. It is not quite like a New York accent, though they are similar, but it's more like a deviation.The Jersey accent is a bit more slurred and not as guttural. I work in both New Jersey and New York, so I hear a lot of both. Thanks to watching British programming from a tender young age , my Jersey accent is not as thick as a true native, but it's still present.
This relates highly to names. What a name sounds like can affect how it's heard. For instance, no matter how lovely a French name looks, some of them are not as pretty with an English accent, and it's not guaranteed that everyone is as good as French pronunciation as you are.A Ciel will have their names pronounced like Seal a few times by telemarketers until they meet the one person who knows it's said See-el without correction.
On the subject of my own pronunciation woes: there are names I cannot use. No matter how lovely they look, it's a bit awkward to hear them with my accent. I find it important to find a name that doesn't sound bad when shouted. At some point you're going to yell out your precious child's name out loud for doing something, be it drawing on the wall or not coming when called. That right there is why sound is so important to names. Here are a list of names that are lovely, but not as lovely when my accent is involved. Of course, this is all personal preference, but doesn't my personal preference count?


Now, while these are names that I can't use due to being from New Jersey, there are some things that give me the advantage. Hebrew names, for instance, are applicable for everyone, even the heavy ones. There is as big a Jewish community here than there is in New York, and often you know someone who is Jewish who lets you in on aspects of their culture (bat/bar mitzvahs, for example).Here are some names that are very Hebrew, but can still work in my hometown.
Rebecca(more common a name than Jennifer in my circle. I was surprised to find out it was a very "jewish" name)
I  love my hometown despite the misconceptions about it.New Jersey is a surprisingly beautiful and diverse part of the East Coast. Do not let the accent fool you.

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