Study: the Chicago accent is the least attractive accent in America
Don't get your Wacker in a Wabash, Chicagoans. This is just one poll.
According to a study from Yougov, the Chicago accent is the least attractive in the country.
Before you get your Wacker in a Wabash, this was a randomized poll of 1,216 people conducted through an emailed questionnaire. And while the peoples surveyed were from a pretty accurate cross-section of Americans (51% female and 49% male, and a little over half white), this doesn't necessarily hold much water on a scientific or sociopolitical level. But it is pretty fun to
Other findings from the study, available in full here, include:
- The Texas accent came out as the most attractive. Alright, alright, alright.
- New York and Boston accents were, apparently, the 2nd most attractive accents. Which seems remarkably unfair.
- English accents were the most attractive accents when speaking English, followed by French and Australian.
- 73% agreed that it is common for people to get judged on their accent, while 46% agreed that there is more of a stigma against people with foreign accents in America.
- 17% said they'd be more likely to date someone with an accent, while 64% said it wouldn't make a difference.
Another thing: it appears to focus almost exclusively on broad accents. The Chicago accent is pretty darn localized when compared to the more broad regions of the rest of the study, but could easily be a stand-in for the Midwestern accent as a whole (as it's not wildly different than the Minnesotan accent, dontcha-know). The 'south coast' accent group covers a lot of coastline, but locals will assuredly be able to point out the difference between the Carolina accent and a Savannah drawl (note: is there a Floridian accent?). West coast accents are also all lumped in under "west coast" when any proud North Californian will tell you that the NorCal accent is hella different than Southern California's vowel-amalgamation.
And let's be clear: Chicago is probably the best city in America (I've lived there! It is!). It doesn't feel the need to crow about how great it is like New York does every ten years. And since New York has been slowly transitioning over the last 30 years (from America's artistic and cultural heart to the cold, joyless final pages of an Ayn Rand novel) and LA and Houston are essentially giant suburbs, Chicago is hands down the most welcoming big city in the country.
Political activism may get people invested in politics, and affect urgently needed change, but it comes at the expense of tolerance and healthy democratic norms.