“Fuhgeddaboudit: New York Accent On Its Way Out, Linguists Say”
“”Wealthy people, or middle-class people even, from all over the country, speak quite similarly to each other,” he says. “Working-class people really are the ones who maintain the local dialects.”
Kaufman adds that social pressure to sound more like “Middle America” has flattened out many accents.
“People used to say ‘Toidy-toid Street’ for ‘33rd Street,’ ‘goil’ for ‘girl’ in New York City English, and that is actually almost completely dead,” he says.
Well, not quite, says 79-year-old Donald Semenza.
Semenza’s accent is typical of many of his generation who grew up in working-class, Italian-American neighborhoods in Manhattan. It’s a way of speaking that he says may have put him at a disadvantage when he worked with Wall Street stockbrokers who had middle-class accents.”