Not only is the Michigan accent real, it’s becoming even more distinct from the rest of the United States due to something called the Northern Cities Vowel Shift — the most significant change in English vowel pronunciation in a thousand years.
Join us Thursday, February 16th at 7 p.m. as Edward McClelland reads from his new book, “How to Speak Midwestern,” and explains why all of us in Michigan speak with distinction.
“How to Speak Midwestern” covers many of the historical and geographic causes behind the Michigan accent. In addition to the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, Edward will discuss the Inland Accent (spoken by those in the lower Great Lakes region from Rochester to Milwaukee) and the North Central Dialect (spoken by Yoopers in the Upper Penninsula). Edward’s presentation will include maps and videos with voice recordings of famous Michiganders speaking with their Michigan accents, including Michael Moore, Iggy Pop, and Rick Snyder.
Edward McClelland, a native of Lansing, is the author of a number of books, including Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President and Nothin’ But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland. Edward’s work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Salon, Slate, the Nation, and a number of other places.
A question and answer period will follow the discussion. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.