I clicked through to learn about the calming effect of the color pink and was pleasantly surprised to find the bulk of the post was about the negative perception of southern US accents, a subject very near to my heart.
I moved to the south from the midwest in my formative years. At the time, I never thought there was a chance my accent would change, and indeed had plenty of moments where I could not interpret what southern folks were saying at first. For around a decade, I continued to sound like my family, but that was about the time that my pattern of speech began to change–I started saying “y’all,” and “fixin’ to,” for example. within the following decade, the accent itself started to appear. It comes and goes. It seems that I sound more southern the more comfortable I am, and more northern when my situation requires more immediacy, but of course I have no hard data. Although, I am pretty certain that–in the same way that yawns are contagious–the accents of the company I keep really does sway mine.
I’ve known several people who, like Colbert, decided in their youth to flatten their accent due to media pressure. I understand why, but it makes me so sad. Especially because I view my second accent and my “southern-ness” as tremendous gifts. I now (sometimes) speak the same way as many of the people who I love and admire the most. because of this, when I see gratuitous, disparaging remarks or depictions of my people, it not only immediately discredits the speaker, it also makes me fairly upset.
That eminent scientists who are both grown and also brilliant could still be susceptible to the same pressures as their juvenile counterparts is… fucking dumb as hell, if I’m being honest. I’m certain they are all aware of how Feynman sounded. How else was he supposed to sound? He’s from Queens. If you assume that his accent meant he was some kind of goombah, then that is a reflection on you, not him. I’d be surprised if he ever dwelt on it. But back to the south. If anyone would like to explain how a southern accent makes the speaker sound dumb to James Carville, I will gleefully grab some popcorn so I can enjoy watching him eviscerate you. So, I sincerely hope this makes it back to the folks at Oak Ridge. Y’all split atoms. you shouldn’t have to defend yourselves to anyone anymore, including your professional peers. anyone steps to you, the appropriate response should be to crank up the accent a notch just to troll 'em. remember to stack those modals!
Funny video of fellow trying to speak without his southern accent
Wrong stat. eminent scientists have like a 17 or 18 INT stat.
Saving throws vs. dumbassery and immaturity are WIS based.
hmm…. I seem to have misplaced my dice.
It’s even stranger when the region you’ve adopted to’s language is not English.
I first started pronouncing English words as a Japanese person would (only occasionally and mostly while drunk - which is weird). Now some Japanese words are my go-tos. As sad as it is, kawaii is common (Hey, cmon… I live on the internet where kawaii is a daily occurrence), nani and nande feature pretty heavily too. Plus they have the useful word “dasai” which translates to “uncool” - a word which itself in English is so uncool to say that no one ever uses it. Brits say “naf” and the US/Aus alternative is probably “lame” but they don’t have the same impact.
Fixin’ I can get behind - that’s regional use - but y’all is one thing I can not and will not ever get behind because it’s a false contraction that only exists in the minds of southerners. That, plus we already have “you” which does the job in every situation where “y’all” is used. Saying y’all is, like you pointed out, merely waving a red flag.
@GilbertWham I cun’t think of the one you’re referring to…
IRT the article: Y’all need to start focusin’ on gettin’ rid o’ ya bigoted politicians and guns first, brown people last mentality that dominates the south. Protip: This stereotype didn’t start nowhere.
On accents; my first job out of university was working in Birmingham (UK, not 'bama). Even as a midlander myself, it was initially jarring to be working with lots of very smart people all with the accent generally considered the ‘stupid’ one by the rest of the country.
Personally, I’m worried that eventually I’m going to start sounding like Kid Jensen.
it is commonplace to hear “you all” about as often as you hear people say “can not” rather than “can’t.”
having one word for singular and plural introduces ambiguity, particularly in situations lacking context clues.
¯\ __(ツ) _ /¯ I’m going to keep using it.
help me out–is there an entertainment figure I’d know with a B’ham accent? I’ve never heard of Kid Jensen.
Is it an accepted word or used as such anywhere else? No? Then it doesn’t become formalised part of the language with any more validity than any other slang word, sorry.
We say “bottle-o” for bottleshop or “serv-o” for service station in Australia, but I’d not for a minute have the gall to expect the hundreds of millions of english speakers who don’t abuse the language in such a way to change their codified rules to accommodate our idiotic contractions/abbreviations.
having one word for singular and plural introduces ambiguity, particularly in situations lacking context clues.*
English, and many other languages manage it fine. Adding further complexity to simplify? That’s a new one. The handy thing with y’all is that, by virtue of the fact that you are speaking to the person included in the “all”, ambiguity is next to zero, and in cases where ambiguity is an issue, that’s why we have “you all” or “you guys”.
Keep saying it if you want, but there’s a reason that this article is about southerners requesting classes to lose their southern drawl.
“Peaky Blinders” is full of great Brummie accents.
He had a weird mid-Atlantic accent. I’ve worked with a few Brits who’ve been over here 10+ years and it sounds really odd.
Famous Brummies? (and nearby area) : Ozzy Osbourne, Lenny Henry, Jasper Carrott, Noddy Holder, Julie Walters, Frank Skinner, Adrian Chiles…John Oliver’s a Brummie too.
(and to avoid upset, yes, I know a Black Country accent isn’t a Brummie accent)
well, I know Ozzy at least, though distinguishing his accent from the er… particular way he speaks as an individual is not something I trust myself to do.
@SmashMartian thanks. I can hear that it isn’t posh, anyway, but I’ll have to keep an open ear to distinguish it better.
Coming from the outside, most accents can be tricky to tune in to. As for posh, the West Midlands is the language of Shakespeare.
As for me, I like Southern USA accents. They’re easy on the ear, just don’t ask me to pick a Georgia from a South Carolina.
Something I’ve noticed with British comedians is they seem to have a “generic American” accent they like to use when making fun of Americans. It usually ends up being this strange mix of the different southern accents with a lot of Texas thrown in. I can understand where that comes from though. I’ve had to watch a lot of British panel shows to even start to be able to pick out the different British accents. Thankfully my accent is very close to the standard newscaster accent with only a few Canadianisms that give me away.
It’s payback for Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Never forget.
Weird, isn’t it. And yet Hugh Laurie sounds completely natural (to me, anyway) in House. He’s something of an outlier, though.
Cool. RP all the way, then.
Me, I’m something of a linguistic packrat and having lived all over the place it’s a horrendous mix of slangs and twangs which defaults to a god-awful thick Estuaryese when I’ve had a lot to drink.
And I still reckon they should have left Dave Prowse’s voice alone. West Country accents get no love at all.
My accent is similarly newscaster-ish (Usian, though). However, after a couple pints of beer, I’m barely distinguishable from your average Toronto resident. How does that happen? I grew up in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Maybe I just live too damned close to Ontario.
As for that generic Usian accent, it all sounds like John Wayne to me.
So why is it a poor color choice? Anyone else curious but not curious enough to buy the book just to find out? Interesting article, but talk about digression.
Bonafide Southerner here (I hail from Alabamy). Now I live on Long Island. (((Shutter))) talk about some nasty accents - Brooklyn, Long Island, Bronx. I’ll take a Southerner any day - smarter and sweeter sounding to the ear.
So true, even from those who have one. I curse my recorded voice — it should really belong to a turnip farmer. But then RP feels so fake to use that I rarely bother.