Why City Accents Are Fading in the Midwest

A few years ago, I was sitting at the bar of Wrong’s Tap, a tavern in the Irish-American neighborhood of Beverly, watching a Bears game. Suddenly, a classic Chicago accent was hurled across the room.

“Hey,” someone shouted. “What are da squares for dis quarter?”

The Bears were losing 3–0, so the winning squares for the first quarter were zero and three. But that’s not exactly how the gray-haired guy holding the money expressed it.

Ahh, zero and chree,” he...

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