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(AP)   Southern accents moving toward extinction as more and more southerners seek to eliminate or modify their accent   (hosted.ap.org) divider line 416
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11743 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Nov 2005 at 12:59 PM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-11-27 03:25:19 PM  
hubiestubert

I loved your post, and it made me feel a little bit better about my own accent. Some people do perceive a sense of sweetness and kindness in the way I talk, and that's always nice, as it suits my disposition.
 
2005-11-27 03:30:56 PM  
I speak a bit of French and Spanish, but not well enough to detect the accents native speakers in those languages have. It's also always fascinated me what an American's "accent" sounds like to native French and Spanish speaker's; alas I only know the reverse of that (i.e. what they sound like speaking English).
 
2005-11-27 03:31:06 PM  

Having spent all my life around both Yankee and Southron speakers, I can switch between the two at the drop of a hat.

It's weird, though, because there is a different mindset depending on which one I'm using. It's like my brain runs differently. Yankee-speak fells more "wound up" (for lack of a better term), while Southron-speak feels more "relaxed".

Chicago (shee-KAA-goo) sounds flat, New York / New Jersey sounds like a Mafia movie, and the last Bostonian I talked to sounded like she had a speech impediment until I found out where she was from.

Not dissin' Beantown - best pubs on the East Coast! The accent just sounds funny to this Hoosier. (he-YOO-zhur)

 
2005-11-27 03:32:56 PM  
Yappy - I, too, am an accent chameleon. I've always just had a sharp ear for them, and an innate ability to mimic. Got weird when I visited relatives in Scotland, tho - they wanted to hear my Okie twang, but after being in Edinburgh a week, I had adopted a near-perfect Scottish brogue and found it extremely difficult to revert back to my natural speech, even when asked to so do. My Scots relatives didn't know what to make of their American cousin who sounded just like THEM. My intent was not to be a poser or insult anyone - quite the oposite. I guess it's just a (natural?) desire to sound like those I'm speaking with, so as not to alienate them or myself. It's not "code-switching" but it's close. Anyone know the term I'm looking for?
 
2005-11-27 03:33:57 PM  
northern english accent combined with south carolinian....i get some weird stares
 
2005-11-27 03:34:19 PM  
I don't watch TV news because I can't really stand the sound of Yankee. I would pay good hard money to turn on the TEE-vee and hear somebody say somethin like this:

"This here's Jimmy with the news... How y'uns doin'? Em fellers ovair n Eye-rak ear up to no-good agin. They done kilt 3 Marines couple airs ago."

/is a proud resident of Union County, TN
//uses 'whilst' and 'y'uns' in regular conversation
///will never EVER change
 
2005-11-27 03:35:08 PM  
"Y'all" isn't welcome in Erica Tobolski's class in voice and diction at the University of South Carolina.

It happens in reverse, too!

A friend of mine in southwest Virginia said his cousin (I think) moved back there from California (I think). She had a neutral American accent. They put her in a remedial speech class in order to learn a Southern accent. No joke!
 
2005-11-27 03:35:21 PM  
Had an uncle from England, but moved over here when he was in his twenties. By the time he was in his sixties, he sounded like he was from the deep South - long, drawn out vowel sounds. Very genteel. He was an awesome guy.
 
2005-11-27 03:35:47 PM  
I sometimes drop my southern accent depending on who im talking to, but if im not paying attention it's stuck with me. don't mind it so much i guess, its a lot more subtle than most.
 
2005-11-27 03:36:53 PM  
Yappy Jappy Midget
No, mine is pronounced. As in, West Indians, southerners and californians have all mistaken me for one of their own.

Well in that respect I only have two 'accents'. Though I use them interchangably. I have the non-accent that my family is mystified on how I achieved, and I have ghetto, or 'ebonics' as some would call it, which I understanbly picked up in south Georgia.

I moved to Orlando for school a few years ago (but am back in Georgia,) and hung out with people from all over the country. None of them were ready for it when I switched it up without thinking. Rather than telling my friend "No man. You've got it all wrong, pal." I, without thinking, said "Naw Pimpin'. It ain' ee-in like thah doo."

Everyone just stopped and stared at me.
 
2005-11-27 03:39:32 PM  
Lived in Georgia but raised by brits, so only a slight accent that's only noticable to people outside of the south. ha, besides when you go elsewhere, they think it's kinda charming.
 
2005-11-27 03:42:26 PM  
but then again, depending on who im talking to my accent changes without me noticing. So much so in fact that people will think I'm mocking them, kinda sucks when they confront you about it, cause they never believe that you don't realize you're doing it.
 
2005-11-27 03:45:17 PM  
In Rochester, the people most affected by accent speak very nasally and completelty mangle the long "a" sound. Luckily I grew up without it. I did get made fun of on Long Island when I worked there because I didn't speak with that absolutely grating LI accent. Oh well...
Nothing really pisses me off about accents, but if I hear a fellow born-and-raised New Yorker use the word "ya'll", I'll slap him/her.
 
2005-11-27 03:55:43 PM  
And this is a bad thing??

I live in the South and, as a kid, the folks around here (Florida) used to run around with rebel caps, the Stars and Bars in their trucks and biatch about all the damnyankees coming through. (I'm from New Jersey -- but I was 1 year old when we got here.)

I used to know people with that DEEP SOUTH southern drawl so thick that you had to listen hard to them to understand what they were saying. (Kinda like in those 'classic' B&W movies of the 30s and 40s about the Civil War.)

The stereotypical Southern Businessman was predominate. (White shirt, sleeves rolled up, baggy pants, suspenders, hard, leather shoes, hat and usually a cigar -- pronounced 'see-gar' -- or pipe.) They called everyone 'son' and 'boy', though the ladies got 'Ma'am'. They talked slow, with a Magnolia dripping accent and you'd better be able to hold your booze if you did business with them.

Now, even I have a slight Southern tinge to my speech, but basically, the Deep South drawl is a thing of the past. (Florida, as far as I can tell, is 75% Yankees now.)

Now, the most ANNOYING accent by far is Louisiana and New Orleans. It sets my teeth on edge.
 
2005-11-27 03:56:11 PM  
I had a southern accent as a kid, but I trained myself to lose it. Now it only comes out when I'm drunk.
 
2005-11-27 03:57:01 PM  
I moved to Atlanta from Indiana 5 years ago. It's extremely rare to meet someone in their 20's from down here. Everybody seems to be from up north or from Louisiana (yeah, I don't know why either). I've picked up some of the accent and when I go up north everyone comments on it. I kinda made fun of myself this morning when I was walking my dog and I caught myself saying "gud dawg".

Yesterday during Walk the Line, I told my girl, who's from rural georgia, that she sounds just like June Carter... she got pissed as she has modified her accent to make it less southern. It comes out strong when she's with other southerners or when she's drunk.
 
2005-11-27 04:02:21 PM  
2005-11-27 03:57:01 PM Rapmaster2000

I moved to Atlanta from Indiana 5 years ago. It's extremely rare to meet someone in their 20's from down here. Everybody seems to be from up north or from Louisiana (yeah, I don't know why either).

Booming southern city, not too far a drive from home- simple really. I'm from Louisiana and could probably name 10 people I knew from high school who ended up going to Atlanta, and all my friends could come close to doing the same.
 
2005-11-27 04:02:25 PM  
[image from meloncorp.com too old to be available]

O RLY???
 
2005-11-27 04:02:33 PM  
whale oil beef hooked
 
2005-11-27 04:05:01 PM  
I don't watch TV news because I can't really stand the sound of Yankee. I would pay good hard money to turn on the TEE-vee and hear somebody say somethin like this: "This here's Jimmy with the news..."

I'll bet Rupert Murdoch is working on something like that.
 
2005-11-27 04:07:05 PM  
mama's_tasty_foods
Booming southern city, not too far a drive from home- simple really. I'm from Louisiana and could probably name 10 people I knew from high school who ended up going to Atlanta, and all my friends could come close to doing the same.


Since Katrina my NOLA friends have taken in a few of their friends from LSU, and they've now decided to permanently stay.

/LSU people know how to drink
//geaux tigers
 
2005-11-27 04:07:38 PM  
IvyMike

Statesboro, Ga.? Holy mackerel - that's where I live now!

Lots of accents hereabouts.
 
2005-11-27 04:07:57 PM  
While I'll admit that sometimes upon hearing a southern accent, I get a first, fleeting impression that the speaker's elevator may not go all the way to the top, nothing beats Hawaiian Pidgin (if you can call that an official "accent" -- don't know, not a linguist) as giving me an immediate, in-your-face "DUH!" impression.

And I should know better den youse guys, as I wuz raised on Lawn Guyland, and speak widdout any kinda accent at awl.
 
2005-11-27 04:10:09 PM  
Accent has nothing to do with intelligence, nor does geography.

The dumbest, most redneck people I've ever met live in Shiawassee county Michigan and eastern Oklahoma. I'm guessing every place has their share of idiots who can't speak decent english in any accent.
 
2005-11-27 04:10:56 PM  
I grew up in deep east Texas watching Dr Who and Fawlty towers. So, in between schoolyard beatings, I really had a confusing accent.

Would y'all like something to draink before the war?
 
2005-11-27 04:11:54 PM  
A New Zealander interviewed for a teaching position at my college last year. I can just about tell the difference between New Zealand and Australia, barely. I asked him after class where he was from, and he says "South Island...er, New Zealand. You didn't think I was Australian, did you? They're all sheep-shaggers!"

I'm from north Texas, so while I say "ma'am" and have a slight drawl, I don't say "y'all" unless I'm tired or "ain't" unless I'm being sarcastic. Wisconsinites have told me I don't sound Texan.

/shrug
 
2005-11-27 04:12:03 PM  
I'm (unfortunately) Alabama born and raised, but people are constantly asking me, "You ain't from around here, are you?" ...I know I have somewhat of an accent, especially if I am excited or have been drinking, but it apparently is not as thick as one would think it should be.
 
2005-11-27 04:12:10 PM  
Really ya'll it's not the accent it's how you use it.
I live in Georgia have on and off my whole life. There is Brooklyn, NYC in me when I am mad.. Canadian/Irish in me when I am drunk..but in my normal everyday life I have a southern accent that won't leave. I like it. Of course- I don't say "honey, listen now.." Southerners USE their accent to sugar coat being ass sometimes..and well that just irritates me.
So I avoid the use of the word "honey" and well I think that's nice enough. :)
 
2005-11-27 04:12:40 PM  
DRTFA, DRTFT, but I wanted to note that a woman with a southern accent drives me wild. I'm technically from the south, but the area I'm from doesn't have a strong "southern accent" (though I can pull one off in a pinch). We had a girl from Alabama come up to one of our parties up here, and she was a gorgeous redhead anyways...but when she spoke, I melted.
 
2005-11-27 04:17:36 PM  
I unconshusly, but gradjully, mimic whatevr aksent other people use whendthey speak withme.

Mostly I mumble so they don't hear me anyhow.
 
2005-11-27 04:21:26 PM  
I've lived in Texas all my life (21 years), and most people from my generation don't seem to have a discernable accent. We can have a bit of a drawl or twang, but not the typical deep Southern accent. I surpise myself sometimes though- usually if I've been drinking- and a word will come out with a twang and I'm like "Woah, where the hell did that come from?"
 
2005-11-27 04:22:17 PM  
weedabix

You're saying that President Bush has a news-anchor-like northern accent?

I SAY NO!!
 
2005-11-27 04:35:13 PM  
Good. Southern accents sound stupid and ridiculous. There is nothing culturally impressive about grown adults talking like they have a mouth full of marbles.
 
2005-11-27 04:36:02 PM  
In western pennsylvania we use the term yins instead of ya'll and we drink pop not soda.
 
2005-11-27 04:42:53 PM  
Rik01
Now, the most ANNOYING accent by far is Louisiana and New Orleans. It sets my teeth on edge.

Welcome to my world. Lafayette, LA - home of the most dumbfounding stupid-sounding accents in the world. It's one of the larger cities in this state, so you don't just get one kind of accent. There's a whole slew of different Louisiana accents around here, all of which are a pain on the ears. I refuse to be faulted for trying to sound as much unlike these people as possible.
 
2005-11-27 04:43:10 PM  
ZaldaPhlemm

Pop vs Soda vs Coke is a whole other thread. Maybe even better than "wipe standing up" vs "wipe sitting down".
 
2005-11-27 04:44:39 PM  
Michigan has no accent? Gotta be joking. Thing is, it's easier to hear coming out of a woman's mouth. Here's a list: pillow, milk, until, and whatever other common words containing that "i". My mother and sister would reply, "Pellow, malk, untel..." My brother has it to some degree (we're Metro Detroiters), but this vowel shift never insinuated itself into my and my father's vocabulary. It's more Upper Midwest, I suppose, than a MI-only phenomenon, and for me, it's the proverbial nails on the chalkboard
 
2005-11-27 04:48:54 PM  
ZaldaPhlemm in SC it's y'all and coke. every type of soft drink is a coke no matter what.

"can i get a coke please"
"what kind"
"mountain dew"

/we'll hang ya for saying soda
//no joke.
 
2005-11-27 04:51:31 PM  
BTW - DRTFA. But I thought I'd add this. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia - out in the country (a little community called Hopewell, near Alpharetta... before the country clubs). I was surrounded by the stereotypical Southern accents and even had a mild one myself. But since I knew I didn't want a thick accent ( I knew early that I wanted to be a broadcaster), I consciously avoided picking up a major one. Now, I have virtually no accent that is detectable. I talk on the radio and people can never figure out where I was raised. Although the Southern accent does creep out more when my senses are altered, i.e. booze.

But, I can slip into the most redneckiest of accents at the drop of a hat, if I need to.

/I rarely need to.
 
2005-11-27 04:53:04 PM  
Dicky_the_String_Boy: "Michigan has no accent? ... Here's a list: pillow, milk, until, and whatever other common words containing that "i". My mother and sister would reply, "Pellow, malk, untel..." "

I don't want to say that you're just making this up, but... WHA?!
 
2005-11-27 04:54:07 PM  
I just go with the universal "soft drink." Not that I care if you say "pop," "soda," or "coke." But for the sake of keeping my fellow Louisianians from getting confused (because it's pretty easy to do), I'll stick to something everyone can understand.
 
2005-11-27 04:56:05 PM  

Willr1



I have a friend that tells stories about the oddities in his life with the timing of comic genius, but they are really plain stories. These are two of my favorites.

So, I was down south and someone asked me if I wanted a coke. So I said "Ok". And they brought me a glass of water.

So, I was walking around Washington D.C. and this homeless woman walked up to me and said, "You're not my son." So I said, "fark you, you piece of shiat."
 
2005-11-27 04:56:37 PM  
In Kentucky we call everything a coke, the words Y'all, you'ns, and y'all'ns are common.

The phrase 'I don't care to do that' acually means 'sure, I'll do that'

And you shouldn't be surprised if you hear someone say 'jest mash thet thayr bu'n' instead of 'press the putton'
 
2005-11-27 04:56:47 PM  
Try being from MN...as soon as I open my mouth, everyone knows where I am from.

/we DON'T sound like "Fargo"
 
2005-11-27 04:57:10 PM  
bulldg4life: I have no accent

Bullshiat.

TheDumbBlonde: We native Floridians from more urban areas have no real accent

Bullshiat.

happydorkgirl: Everyone has an accent - only the point of reference differs.

Thank you!

/Few people outside Australia and New Zealand can tell the difference between an Aussie and a Kiwi.
//Doesn't mean it's not there.
///Hates it when I hear "I have no accent"

Mara See Mara Do: I can just about tell the difference between New Zealand and Australia, barely. I asked him after class where he was from, and he says "South Island...er, New Zealand. You didn't think I was Australian, did you?

In the deep south of New Zealand (though this is dying out) there's a holdover from the larger proportion of Scottish settlers... they actually pronounce the 'r' on the end of words.

"Wheiya from?"
"I'm from Gorrrrrrrre!"

Otherwise New Zealand accents are almost completely losing regionality and homogenising around class and race.

/I speak Standard Auckland Broadcast English
//I've been mistaken for South African and Upper Class Estuary
///Can codeswitch without much trouble.
 
2005-11-27 04:58:42 PM  
Love girls that have a southern accent.
 
2005-11-27 05:01:03 PM  
Being from NJ just thought I'd point this out to the people that think NJ has the "Mafia type" accent. For the most part this isnt NJ it is NY. Then its not even all of NY, only parts of it, just like NJ.

Yes when you start getting closer to NY (The Oranges, Hoboken, Jersey City, Hackensak, also Camden) thats were you get people with the "yous guys" type of speech.

The NJ accent isnt so much the "mafia" pronunciation its more about the S's being X's. Words like Ask come out Axk and such.

Just throwin out that info for y'all.
 
2005-11-27 05:01:12 PM  
Somebody mentioned pidgin.

Lot of Hawaiian students go to WSU. Pidgin is not unheard around here. I've never been to Hawaii, but I've heard pidgin.

Exhibit A) A Hawaiian is watching two black guys throw a football. He says, "Ey, trow ball!" The black guys look at him, then go back to throwing the ball. He says it again, louder. "Ey, trow ball!" accompanied by the appropriate gesture. They look at him again. This time, one of them holds up the ball and says, very slowly, "Yes, this is a ball."

Exhibit B) A friend of my roommate's just arrived in Pullman. The guy at the airport is trying to explain to here where her luggage is. She cuts him off after a minute, "Can you just talk pidgin 'cause I can't understand you."

Exhibit C) My roommate pronounces "for real" as one word, which for the first six months I thought was "fro".

You can hear all the pidgin you want if you watch "Dog the Bounty Hunter".
 
2005-11-27 05:02:32 PM  
this world would be a whole lot emptier without southern girls and their adorable accents.
 
2005-11-27 05:02:33 PM  
Crawdaddy The Farker: I refuse to be faulted for trying to sound as much unlike these people as possible.

So does Britney Spears. Remember her dumbshiat Loosiana accent from when she first became a major popstar? She got rid of that pretty quickly.
 
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