Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Southerners Without Accents

The website AmIAnnoying.com had this to say about North Carolina native son Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"):

He's a Southerner without a trace of a Southern accent (therefore he must be at least a little pretentious).

A few months ago, gentle reader/actor Cajun Boy was turned down for a role because a casting director said his imitation of a Cajun accent was inaccurate. Now, given Caj's origins in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, my guess is that he nailed the accent perfectly. As for me, when I started law school in St. Louis, some of my new friends asked where my Cajun accent was. I didn't feel like explaining that 1) my ancestors were from England and Scotland, and the British were the historic oppressors of the French-Canadian Acadians, so it would be most odd for me to have a Cajun accent; 2) people in other parts of Louisiana have other Southern accents--and then there's New Orleans, with it's own unique speech sounds; and 3) I grew up in Oklahoma, which is only kinda sorta in the South, though my parents were from Louisiana. So I said I just never acquired a Southern accent, which is probably all I should have said in this post.

There are some prominent individuals from the South who lack accents. Faux news commentator/presidential candidate Stephen Colbert (South Carolina); Fox news commentator Shepard Smith (Mississippi); hot actress Reese Witherspoon (Tennessee); and scorching hot actress Mary Louise Parker (South Carolina) come to mind. Some of them probably never acquired an accent; others probably worked at ridding themselves of theirs.

I think we Southerners Without Accents need to band together. Sure, we're humble men and women of the people just like everyone else, and not pretentious in the least, but we don't sound like the other people in our community. Perhaps we should have annual meetings at each others' yacht clubs and listen to each others' melodious, unaccented, speaking voices.


Ann said...

I've dry-docked the yacht until March. Is yours still usable?

I'm not a southerner, though. I just live here now.

That's a real drag for cajunboy...

Warner Belanger said...

I get asked all the time about my lack of accent.

I blame watching massive amounts of T V as a kid as well, but that's probably not right since my sister has a pretty thick SE Texas accent.