28 February 2008

A Real Skeer

I had a real scare yesterday folks. I was enjoying a noon luncheon with some associates when someone who I’d not had a lot of opportunities to converse with suddenly looked at me and asked, “Are you originally from Virginia? Your accent doesn’t sound like what I’m used to hearing in Virginia.”

“Yes ma’am, 9 generations deep,” I replied proudly. But then I asked with great trepidation, “What does my accent sound like?” fearing that I’d finally succumbed to that great and boring homogenization of the "American accent"—a descent into blandness causing me to sound like a Brian Williams or a (God forbid) Matt Lauer. I awaited her reply with fear and trembling, knowing that she could dismiss my “Southernness” with an answer like, “New Jersey” or “The Midwest.”

Finally, she smiled and said, “You actually sound more like you’re from North Carolina.” Hallelujah! I took that as a compliment since a NC accent sounds even more Southern than someone from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Whew, what a relief.

3 comments:

Jubilo said...

Dear Sir ,
One wonders how Civil War personages must have sounded ! Imagine so many of them ( Jubal Early case-in-point ) , whose mouths were constantly filled with wads of chewing tobacco . Certainly difficult to pronounce the definitive "ing " when chewing or spitting , I think.
cordially ,
David Corbett

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yes, dropping the "g" is one of my favorite pastimes. Thanks for reading.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Oops, I meant readin'.