Friday, April 15, 2011

Just Sayin'

I don't know what it was that triggered this thought today....

but believe it or not...

I was once told that my accent (yes, I have a southern drawl)...

was something this person and his wife worked very hard to try and not have.

It was something that pretty much was thought of as being hillbilly and country.

At the time, I just kind of laughed it off...didn't really give the comment the time of day...

but the more I think about it, it irks the daylights out of me.

Now realizing he was pretty much saying that I sounded basically not worthy to be talking to, let alone

be talking to him....

it just makes me want to call his butt up, and say,

"listen here...

This is who I am.

This is where I come from".

This Southern drawl is from having the pleasure of hanging out with some pretty great people...

and hearing their stories of "breaking their backs just to earn a buck".

It's where people say "hey, how are ya?" just because they can....not because they know you....

It's where drinking sweet tea out of a mason jar is commonly classified as simple etiquette...

just as drinking out of some expensive wine glass. {not that I'd drink sweet tea out of one}

I'm happy to speak the way I do....

and besides...

Kenny baby seems to think the same too...


4 comments:

Kim said...

Both me and my sister have had people say that our accents are to thick. And both of them were told while we were teaching. It is who I am. When I get super excited about something I sound just like Boomhawer (King of the Hill)

Don't let people's ignorant comments get ya down!

Miranda said...

It irritates me to no end to know that people think just because we are from Tennessee and sound the way we do, that we aren't intelligent people. UGH!!

Gail said...

Maybe I can, hopefully, say this and forever make the 'irk' and 'irritation', and 'insulted' go away - forever.
Back in '95, when I was working two fulltime jobs, my (then) night job was as asst mgr at a Kinkos. One very late night, I rang up a customer and asked where he was from. He asked why in a PANICKED and annoyed tone. I told him because I detected an accent. He said, now VERY panicked, that his company paid THOUSANDS of dollars for him to LOSE the accent. I, calming him down, assured him that it wasn't so much that he had an accent but that I had my dad's talent for DETECTING one; and my dad and I used to make a game of not only being able to determine which state, but oftentimes to the CITY they were from! Then I asked WHY his employer would pay $$$$ for him to lose his (Georgia) accent. Because, in 'business', statistics have shown that if you have an accent, particularly certain accents, your business or sales are less when going to other states; and being smart business just means losing the accent and gaining the business. I have since seen that to be true, time and time again; and whether we agree with it or not, it's the way it is.

Now, I honestly don't think those folks meant anything by what they said to you. Maybe they were noticing how comfortable you were with yourself and how very successful you are..and made the comment because for THEM, it wasn't working, and they had to make some changes. Maybe their line of work took them to other locations and they learned that as well. Maybe they were envious of you being able to be free to be who you are while they have to become 'generic' or 'one size fits all'.
I happen to think accents are interesting. The Southern accent comes from the British colonial days and if you listen with a good ear, you can hear it and see how that was.
Actually, if I were to be irked or irritated with anything about SPEECH, it would be about improper grammar, because that makes my skin crawl. But, even more than that is seeing the English language get so degraded and so bastardized as to just become a bunch of insensible grunts, such as Ebonics or some other similar slang forms.
Now THAT is something to be ashamed of and something to be CHANGED.
In the meantime, I think I'll have my (mildly) sweet tea in MY mason jar, thank you, (love those dang jars!) and say hi to my neighbors, because just like you, I'm comfortable being who I am! :)

Don't change a thing, Liz - love ya!

Hailey said...

I've heard people put down Southern accents before too. And it's really insulting to think that because we talk differently, it must mean we're stupid or ignorant. Ugh. And to try to change your accent is almost denying a part of your own history and culture.
Loved the KC quote. He's my favorite. :)