Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content 'Western accent,' especially in Colorado, is what men want

By Carol McGraw Updated: November 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Forget bedroom eyes.

It's the accent that apparently attracts guys to Colorado women.

At least that is what a national survey of 2,000 men and women conducted by the dating site Cupid.com says.

The West in general came in third in popularity behind Southern and New York accents.

The Western accent is considered the most natural, and covers the most territory.

"It seems that female Coloradan women are particularly popular, with 16 percent of men voting for their accent. But only 10 percent of women voted for Coloradan men's accents, a Cupid.com press release said.

Evidently, Southern accents are the biggest turn on for guys, while New Yorkers' harsher and faster talk thrills women.

But who knew Colorado natives even had accents?

Professor Andrew Cowell, chair of the linguistics department at University of Colorado at Boulder, it's all about diversity and difference.

"If someone doesn't speak like you, they are judged to have an accent," he said. "They are saying, you are not like me. If you are from Boston and go to Mississippi, they claim you are the one with the accent not them."

He said there is more diversity of pronunciation in the East, rather than in the West.

It's because easterners have been there since the 1600s and have had time to develop an accent. Westerners are more recent and haven't had as much time.

Cowell explains that the Colorado accent most closely resembles those in Iowa. On dialect maps, the two states are part of the "Central West dialect grouping."

Colorado accents are most often described as "newsperson speak," the least accented, and sounding sophisticated and learned, he said.

Donna Shugrue, a Colorado Springs woman who owns perfectlymatcheddating.com, says that in her 25 years in the matchmaking business only a handful of people have ever asked for a date with someone who has a particular accent. However, they may mention the accent afterwards.

"Men do like southern accents, but women don't," she said.

Shugrue is from the South, and said she has lost her accent, but that it used to return when she visited her late mother, who had a southern accent.

"Then I'd come back saying things like 'ahst tea,'" she said.

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Contact Carol McGraw: 636-0371. Twitter@mcgrawatgazette Facebook: Carol McGraw

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