My mother was born and raised in Lanark County Ontario not too far from Perth. She had the Lanark accent and because of summers at her home place, I picked up a couple of area distinct pronunciations.
My parents moved a couple of times and I was born and raised along the eastern shores of Lake Ontario. Time eroded most of my Mom’s idiom, but some of my friends always detected the valley in her speech.
Perth had a very distinctive idiom. A memory I have from quite a few years back, when families watched TV together and Canada had a “reach for the top” type of show, we watched as Perth Collegiate took on another highschool. All the PCI students had the Lanark/Perth accent. One; however, had a very distinct variation.
My mother said she knew exactly where he came from. She named the corner so had the Concession and was within a few lots.
Places had their way of pronouncing words, expressing ideas with some distinct phrases
One of the stories I heard (from my great-aunt) was about my grandparents. The grandmother’s family was a bit leery of my grandfather and his family because “they talked funny.” The two families were raised probably less than 10 km apart.
Unfortunately this local flavour is disappearing. A few years back I was just outside Perth with a group of business friends. There was a group of young men from Perth nearby. Only one sounded even close to the sound of my mother’s family.
Today, there was a CBC radio interview of a young man from Perth. He said he was born and raised in Perth. I detected no accent at all. I may still miss some of the subtleties because of childhood acculturation, but contend that there was no Lanark in the man’s speech.
Radio. Tv and people from outside the area have pretty well wiped out a distinctive and pleasant sound from another part of rural Ontario.
I for one miss the diverseness.