Features: How to Speak Philadelphian: Is Lynn Doyle a Fake?
Lynn Doyle has a Philly accent. Ed Rendell knows this. Ramona Africa and Mikhail Gorbachev know. Johnnie Cochran knows, too, bless his soul. They’ve all been guests on It’s Your Call With Lynn Doyle, and they — like you, myself, and 7.1 million others in the Comcast viewing area — have heard words like “hewm” and “phewn” bend like bungee cords as they roll off Doyle’s tongue. She’s gotta be from Bustleton. Or maybe somewhere off Tasker. But no, CN8 insists. She’s from Baltimore. Come again? “Lynn is not from the area,” says a station flak. “If you detect an accent, it’s actually from Maryland/Virginia.” If we detect an accent? If? That’s like saying “If you notice a slight paunch on our governor,” or the Eagles saying, “If you sense some arrogance in our wide receiver.” We promptly launched an investigation.
We learned that Doyle, 48, is indeed a Baltimore native, was schooled at Towson State, and didn’t move here until she was 30 or so. Yet the tuning of her vocal cords is as authentic as the Frankford El (and hasn’t kept Doyle’s name off multiple “sexy broadcaster” websites). So as Madonna moved to England and adopted a haughty Brit affectation, Doyle seems to have acquired our vocal tics through osmosis. Or perhaps she’s undergone some secret medical procedure. Doyle couldn’t run from our tough questions. “I’ve been asked before if I’ve had surgery, but never on my larynx,” she says (and the answer to all is no). Doyle explains that her higher-ups have worked for years to wipe out her “regionalization,” as they call it, but clearly to no avail. “The O’s definitely get you,” she says, and to prove it, reels off “those,” “how,” “about” and “hon.” Maybe you’re not from around here, Lynn. But you’re one of us neow.