Accents, and specifically Southern ones, are an art form, yet sorely overlooked. Alabama is different from Georgia; North Florida distinct from South.Virginia has a number of different dialects within its borders. A college my youngest daughter attended in Florida a few years ago actually had a class students could take in which they could "unlearn" their Southern dialect. Regular readers here can probably imagine the conversation I had with a school official over that. Suffice it to say my daughter did not take that class.
Here's one example demonstrating one strain of accent in Southern Appalachia:
Do I talk like this? In some aspects, yes. Oddly enough, more so as I get older. My wife's dialect is even more pronounced. (I love it, by the way.) My children's dialect was actually more pronounced when they were younger. I attribute that to the impact of modern media, but I'm working on the next generation. My grandchildren are forbidden to use the term "gize" (guys) in my home and must use "y'all" frequently. I reward them for it.☺ Though recent "come heres" - along with mass media - have had an impact on "softening" Southern accents in many regions, it still thrives in certain areas of the South, including the area of the Shenandoah Valley in which I reside. Thank God for that.
Beyond the dialect, our family uses many of these old terms and phrases as well i.e., "yonder", "fetch" and "y'all." Below is a video I may have posted before but it illustrates the very unique dialect (influenced by Elizabethan English) of the inhabitants of Tangier Island, Virginia:
Below is yet another dialect that was heavily influenced by Elizabethan English and is unique to the "Gullah." As Wikipedia notes:
The Gullah are the descendants of slaves who live in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands.
I find all these different Southern dialects - and the history behind them - quite fascinating and something which contributes to the richness of Southern culture. I hope to post more on this topic at some point in the future.