Funny video of fellow trying to speak without his southern accent

Originally published at:


For me I tend to easily pick up on accents. In fact if I am around people too long who speak a certain way, I will start to emulate them with out trying.


I don’t see what y’all think is so funny.


The erster berled in the terlet. There, Brooklynese made easy.


I laughed…mainly because I can relate. I know it’s not long “o” ol (oil) or fol (foil), but knowing something and doing something that’s ingrained are two different things. And my “ain’t” and “y’all” will likely never go away at this point either.


Em peepol ain’t got no ideer how to talk right.

My wife and I suffer from this tendency. Super embarrassing when traveling overseas. We spend a lot of time assuring people that it’s completely involuntary. Strangely, I can usually short-circuit mimicry if I choose ANOTHER accent, so I tend to default to Desert Southwestern.


I go the other way. I grew up in the South kind of adopting as default a sort of non-regional diction. As I’ve gotten older I’ve embraced Southernisms and moments of accent as a deliberate choice. “Y’all” and “reckon” as used in the South are linguistic gems, and they deserve to be honored as such.


LOL - yes I’ve done this every time I visited a country.

I will also mimic people with unique speaking patterns. It isn’t on purpose.

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And “y’all” also makes for a great gender-neutral collective noun!


It’s an unfortunate truth that in America southern accents typically imply ignorance to anyone not from the south. Of course I can attest that I regularly talk to complete idiots with Boston accents.

“Holy shit! It’s a beebee fucken wheel man! That thing looks hurt, Jay. Oh my gawd!”

(The one caveat would be “high-toned” accents: someone who speaks like Foghorn Leghorn might be the southern equivalent of JFK speaking, aristocratic sounding. Obviously this happens in England, between cockney and upper-class, and I’m sure it happens in other languages too.)


‘Y’all’ is a very clever way to differentiate a much missed plural in English. I’d add it to my everyday speech.


Ah yes, reminds me of my grandmother.

@Sigmund I’m still a bit unclear myself on the difference between “y’all” and “all y’all,” though my Texan coworkers insist there is one.


I always felt a warm welcome by Texan waiters with their “How y’all doing today?”. Very charming. As for any difference, well, I guess that’s their little secret.


Admittedly there are also lots of other pronouns that could be useful to have. For example, Mandarin has the ability to distinguish “‘we’ that definitely includes the listener” from “‘we’ that may or may not include the listener,” but AFAIK not “‘we’ that definitely does not include the listener.” And (while not a pronoun) I’ve been told ancient Greek had something called an “elliptic plural” for any noun, and that this encompassed a thing and other unmentioned things associated with that first thing. I have no idea how much else is out there that would be cool and useful.


That makes me wonder how close humans are to birds. My grandparents were from the South. They owned a parrot which came from Mexico. The parrot sang in Spanish, and mimicked each grandparent’s accent when he spoke (they were from different states). He was very good at calling my grandmother’s name using my grandfather’s accent. When they were in different rooms, she sometimes answered the parrot by mistake. It was really amazing (and amusing) to hear.


My father, an Arkansas native, spent a few years in an Alabama seminary in the early 1960s. He and a bunch of the other guys had to take a class called “Holy Elocution” where they trained you to drop your accent. It pretty much worked - apart from some inflections and frequent use of southern idioms you can’t tell which region of the country he’s from.

My sister and I grew up in the south and our accents are very mild. We’ve both noticed that our accents thicken when getting directions or help in a rural area or dealing with contractors or auto mechanics. I think it’s a survival thing - people are kinder and less likely to take advantage when they don’t see you as the other.

I agree with a few others here that “y’all” is extremely useful. I tend to write it as “you all”.


Is your name Zelig?

For $100 it can be what ever you want, honey. :wink:


I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it developed in areas with heavy French influence (whether French colonists or Acadian – now Cajun – refugees).