A short post the other day that linked to a Los Angeles Times piece by Hector Becerra on L.A.'s distinctive, lilting Eastside accent drew this great comment from a reader who posted as Ome Coatl. He wrote:
When I hear someone speaking "East L.A.", I feel an instant connection with them, as if they know what I know and we are already on a similar wavelength. It's an accent that deserves to be considered "Quintessential Los Angeles" as anything else.
Plus, I think it sounds sexy as hell on females. "I know" becomes "I knOOOw!"
Why thank you, Ome Coatl.
Becerra's piece described the sound (a sing-songy lilt marked by a higher vowel sound at the end of words) and geographic prevalence (east of the river, basically) of what's termed "Chicano English," though the accent crosses ethnic lines. Examples of the Eastside accent are words like "talking" pronounced "talk-een," going pronounced "GO-ween."
I spent most of my childhood through early adulthood in Huntington Park, so one can guess where my regional linguistic heart lies. My inner H.P. seeps out when I least expect it, like yesterday when I caught myself talking about "hang-een" up clothes in the closet.
Do you speak/love Eastside? Feel free to share below.