Linguistics at Our Little House
A conversation between friends the other day on Facebook about lingering Boston accents long after they’re no longer living there reminded me of a conversation I had with the husband not too long ago.
“You’re picking up the accent,” he said.
“No, I’m not,” I retorted. Nothing against our southern friends, I think it was more a habit reaction than anything.
My dad, being from Arkansas, never lost his southern drawl. I grew up in a decidedly Midwestern city saying, “Y’all,” and was constantly told I had a Southern accent.
I was even told early in my corporate career by a boss from New York, who had a very deep New York accent, to try to lose my “twang” once for a presentation.
“Yes, you are,” Dale said. “You used the expression, ‘down the road a piece,” the other day.
I have noticed, when Dale after a long week of being around his co-worker, a slight accent when he comes home.
When we first started coming down here years ago, I once had to ask a gas station clerk three times to repeat herself. She spoke so fast and with such an accent, it sounded like a foreign language.
And the fact that the locals dropped the pronunciation of “ville,” to “vl” wasn’t lost on our Midwestern ears.
I consciously tried not to slip into a southern accent. I’ve heard people fall into the accent of their surroundings and while sometimes it can seem genuine, often it just, well, feels fake and forced…que to Madonna and that horrible British accent she’s adopted.
I was talking yesterday to my hair stylist and friend, Kim, who has a native Southern accent, being from around Little Rock.
“Where do you do yoga, at the library?” she asked.
“No, at a studio in Yell-vl,” I replied.
I caught myself falling into the accent without trying.
Maybe after awhile, it does come naturally.
Do you have an accent from childhood that lingers, or have you picked one up as an adult?