When you think about Boston or Massachusetts, what things come to your mind? It can be great universities such as Harvard, MIT, that it is the best business city in the world. There is no arguing with it because these are definitely true. Then, have you ever heard about the strange accent, bad driving habits and the extremely high taxes of Boston or Massachusetts? These things are very well-known as stereotypes in these places. Is this true or just preconception? There are three analyses of these thoughts and at the end of this paper, you will know which one is true and which one is false. Although stereotypes of Bostonians have some basis in various historical circumstances, native behavior, and the personal impressions of non-Bostonians, these stereotypes are no longer well-founded. Language
The first stereotype of Boston is its unique accent. Whenever you are talking to a Bostonian, his accent will be very impressive for us foreign students. The Boston accent is very obvious even in some artistic works such as "Good Will Hunting", "The Departed", and "Fever Pitch", “it is known for its distinctive diction” (Global Editorial, 2011). This unique accent can be in Boston and of much eastern Massachusetts. When speaks to the causes of Boston accent, this kind of English spoken style can be traced back to the New England area (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) in which these six states were the earliest colony controlled by the British government in 1620. Ten years later, in 1630, Boston became a colony and had its own special accent without retroflex which pronounces with the tip of the tongue curled up towards the hard palate . “The best-known features of the Boston accent are non-rhoticity and broad A. It is most prominent in often traditionally Irish or Italian Boston neighborhoods and surrounding cities and towns” (Mascia, 2001). For instance, when you want to say “I park the car in Harvard Yard”, in Boston expression, it will be pronounced as “I pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd”. This pronunciation is very similar to British English which does not pronounce the letter “R”. As is known to all Americans, President Kennedy is the most representative figure for the Boston accent. “Kennedy’s Massachusetts accent was such a part of him that it became synonymous with a certain kind of politician generally” (Frank, 2009). Even though President Kennedy graduated from Harvard University, he could still be considered as uneducated to some extent. In other words, “ ‘And they said they could even understand what I was saying in spite of my accent,’ President Kennedy said with a laugh” (Healy, 2009). This point of view is a certain kind of unfair stereotype to Boston citizens since Boston is a well-known university city. Even though the population of Massachusetts is only 2.5% of the total American population, the number of universities in Massachusetts represents 4.5% of American overall. People should not judge one person’s educational background just from his accent or his speaking style. For non-Bostonians, they should correct their stubborn stereotype of the Boston accent. Moreover, this kind of stereotype is no longer suitable to the current situation since a large number of non-Bostonians study or work in Boston now. And they bring to Boston a multiple language environment. Driving Habits
The second stereotype of Boston is that “Boston is notorious for being a bad driving city.” People tend to think of driving in Boston as insane. This is because of not only the drivers’ bad habits but also the complicated traffic condition at least based on non-Bostonians’ preconception. When the traffic light turns green at an intersection, every car wants to go first. They are careless to check for pedestrians; they only care for how fast they are driving in order get to their destination as soon as possible. How about the streets...