Before getting to college, I didn't hear much of a difference in the way people pronounced words. As a Kansan, I'd say we have a pretty standard way of speaking. Not much twang or even really a distinct accent. We place an unnecessary "r" in a few words, make words pretty nasally, and maybe place a little too much emphasis on the "n" in Kansas, but as far as speaking, nothing is too complicated here in the Midwest. At least that's what I thought, until I moved to North Carolina for college and people challenged me over a few of the following language discrepancies.
1. Soda vs. Pop
The greatest debate of all. I was so shocked when I heard soda so much from every single one of my friends. However, all of my friends are from the South. I grew up saying pop. Pop is easy. It will always be pop. Quite frankly, I would even refer to all soft drinks as Coke before saying soda.
2. Pee-can vs. Pe-cahn
When explaining to someone that I was allergic to tree nuts, I was laughed at when I listed "pe-cahns." Who would want to eat anything with the word pee at the forefront and can at the end? Does it not make you think of peeing in a can? Exactly-- my point proven.
3. Sa(l)mon vs. Salmon
If you pronounce the "l" in salmon you are wrong. All pride aside, it has nothing to do with the state you are from. You are just grammatically wrong.
4. Til-ah-pia vs. Ti-lap-ia
Another fish. Another mispronounced word. There is no "lap" in this word. TI-LAH-PIA. If you say it any other way please take some time to study vowel sounds and phonics again.
5. Sneakers vs. Tennis Shoes
Although I've never actually played tennis, I still refer to my shoes as tennis shoes. I've learned that sneakers is more commonly used in the South as well.
6. Wa(r)sh vs. Wash
So, when I previously said that Kansans place unnecessary "r's" in words, I actually meant it. Unfortunately, I say wa(r)sh and I'm totally not proud of it. Wa(r)sh is predominately used in Western Kansas and I grew up in the capital, so I get made fun of by not only my college friends, but my friends from home too.
7. Won't vs. Wasn't
This is only a North Carolina thing and I've only seen it typed, but people actually interchangeably use won't and wasn't. In order to get a better understanding of this awful grammatical error, please say out loud a sentence with the word wasn't and replace it with wasn't. Tragic.
8. Care-a-mel vs. Car-mul
The battle of the syllables. I personally say "car-mul," but I will not fight you over this discrepancy if you choose to pronounce caramel with 3 syllables, because technically it is spelled like that.