Just Another Reason…

…why I love living here so much.

watauga_river.jpg

Thanks, Marie. Even in the middle of a drought my world is still beautiful.

At the comedy shows recently I was around some pretty classic East Coast and Chicago types who had some unfortunate and ignorant ideas about my part of the world. When I think South I think porches and hummingbirds. Mountains and good food. Home. They think incest and tractors.

Lord, John Boorman. Exactly what did you do to us when you made that movie? I think I’m moving into my Appalachian Pride phase, becoming more than a bit tired of people thinking it’s OK to chide me for my accent (the favored technique is to repeat things back to me in imitation of my quaint pronunciation) or make tired cracks about incest. I really don’t have anything else to say other than the next time you see anyone being singled out for having an accent, think of me, and also of why some people seem to think that others have an accent while they do not, as if they were from nowhere.

As I am not. I’m from North Carolina.

Y’all.

2 responses to “Just Another Reason…

  1. I’d love to hear your accent, Jennifer. It saddens me that in so many regions in this country accents are on the decline. My mother, born and raised in the Dallas area, hardly has an accent. Yet her sister has one of the great, unabashed north-central Texas accents. Both me and my sister (raised largely by the TV set) have nary a Texas accent. And when I try and fake one, it comes off all cornball, like I’m right out of central casting as “Texas-hick number one,” in any number of Texan analogs to Deliverance. Flaunt your accent with pride. Their becoming rare, exotic things. I find them very refreshing.

  2. Thanks, Erik. I like my accent, too, and it bothers me that certain accents are singled out as denoting the speaker as ignorant (which in itself a deeply ignorant prejudice). It also bothers me that an Appalachian accent is one of the few that it’s OK to make fun of. I tire of being treated like only I have an accent and other people don’t somehow. I love all the sounds of accents. I just like accents, really. I too find them refreshing. As I’ve said before, my ideal is not only to see the world but to actually be from somewhere and enjoy a deep love of place.

    I shouldn’t even have a Carolina accent, since I moved to NC from Florida at age 9, by which time I think a person’s speech patterns are already developed. But over the years I absorbed more and more typically Carolinian sayings and pronunciations, and recently decided to stop worrying about what I sound like and just talk.

    I’ve a friend who has lived here all his life, and he too says he was raised by the TV. He doesn’t have much of an accent, not nearly as much as I do. I think one’s parents also contribute to how children speak, and that children largely talk like their parents (mine, frankly, are from PA and MD).

    But lately I feel like I am declaring myself as a Southerner, for if that’s not where I from, I am from nowhere. And while I don’t feel compelled to just be from somewhere/anywhere, I do love my home and welcome all its claims on me.

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