EMLA: Los Angeles’ Dialect

EMLA – Emma Moved to Los Angeles

I knew that moving to LA would mean experiencing many differences in daily life.  But what I did not anticipate was what form these differences would take.  Apart from exchanging pine trees for palm trees, California has surprised me with it’s little differences.  It’s the little things that seem to obsess me most of all.

I don’t know if they are aware, but people in Los Angeles have their own dialect.  Words that they pronounce differently, and words that they seem to favor over others.  As an Alaskan, I stupidly thought that Spanish would be my undoing in LA not English.

Alaska vs. California/LA – English
Permit – Everyone I know in Alaska, pronounces permit (noun) and permit (verb) differently. The noun has the stress on the first syllable; and the verb on the last.  This is how one would make clear if the verb or the noun was being used.  In Los Angeles, both the noun and the verb have stresses on the last syllable; leaving me to think that people have not finished their sentences.
Market – In Los Angeles, market means grocery store.  Took me a little too long to decipher this one.  For me market means open-air, farmer’s market type shopping. So upon being asked “What markets do you usually go to?” I thought that I was meant to answer with the latest LA super trendy little-known farmer’s market location.  Nope. Ralph’s would have been acceptable.
Free-way – That’s what they have here, free-ways.  Not high-ways and I don’t know the difference.  And they all have there own numeric codes.  Which make getting directions akin to translating binary. “Take the 405 to the 105, then the 1-10 down to the 91.  If you hit the 5, you’ve gone too far.” Maybe I’ll stay home . . .
Transient – The word exclusively used for people who do not have a home and/or are asking for handouts.  Is Alaska to blunt for using “homeless” or “pan-handler”? Perhaps transient is a little more tactful, hopeful even.
Parkway – The little sliver of land between the sidewalk and the street.  Which is somehow the city’s land, yet you still have to mow and care for it.  Alaska is quite lacking in sidewalks, especially in residential areas.  And if there is a sidewalk it is right up against the street with no parkway.  But in many residential areas in LA it goes house/lawn, sidewalk, parkway, street.


Posted on July 1, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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