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CityLab
Economy

Why City Accents Are Fading in the Midwest

And why tariffs won’t bring back the blue-collar heyday they represent.
Two fans decked out in Chicago Bears regalia prepare to cheer their team in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans in January 1986.
Two fans decked out in Chicago Bears regalia prepare to cheer their team in Super Bowl XX in New Orleans in January 1986. Ron Heflin/AP

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?”