Suggested by Rebekah (waves to her), here’s my take on the Montana Accent:
Upon arriving in Great Falls in July 2002, I discovered that the locals had a delightful accent. I had never heard such speech patterns and pronunciations quite like it before, and the closest I could narrow it down to was the accent that I had heard in the movie “Fargo.” Well, not quite – the Montana accent isn’t as pronounced or deliberate, but it is definitely there. And it didn’t take long to begin speaking like the natives, to some degree: when I went to pick up our elder child at the airport about a year later, I told my younger daughter that we need to go to the “bay-gage check” area. She stopped dead-cold, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “WHAT did you say?” I repeated “bay-gage check,” and then realized how I had pronounced it. Of course, native Montanans often deny that they have an accent, but believe me, it is distinct from most others that I have heard. According to this source, “Montana” speech is part of the broader category of “Rocky Mountain” speech, although I’ve been to Denver and Colorado Springs many times, and would never confuse a native Montanan with a Coloradan. So what’s your take on this? Do you notice an accent here in Montana?