Monday, August 7, 2017

Good ole boys

Cindy's Dad was feeling pretty good the other day and wanted to go out and get a new pair of shoes.

We took him down to the local sporting goods store, and in the shoe department found a young man carrying a bunch of shoe boxes. "Hello folks, is anyone helping you?" Cindy told him that her Dad needed a pair of 10 1/2 Wide shoes. "Give me just a second to put these boxes down and I'm your man"

This young man was so nice, he brought every wide shoe in Rays size, and was very helpful in making suggestions, when nothing they had was what Ray wanted, he said "I just thought of something, let me grab one more for you to try on" he took off toward the wall of the store, and I followed.

"We have some shoes over here that may work for him" he said, "I asked him, "Is this where you keep the wide shoes?" He replied, "Yep, they hide uh few uv em rite heah" he stopped and looked at me and said "oops sorry, my accent slipped out..."

Where are you from? I asked him, he said, "I was born and raised in West Virginia", I told him that I am from South Carolina, and then asked "What do you mean that your accent slipped out?" He looked around and then whispered, "I had to work really hard to get this job, I had to learn how to talk without an accent" he went on to say that he had to practice really hard to sound "Normal" because his accent was so strong that nobody would hire him. OK folks I want you to know that this ticked me off.

Upside down soapbox with running shoe clad feet on top
I want to warn you that I am about to pull out my soapbox.

I love to hear accents, an accent is definitely nothing to be ashamed of, because we all have one whether you think you do or not. It may not be a strong accent but the way you talk and sound signifies you as an individual and of where you are from, this sound is "Normal" for you. Being ashamed of your accent is the same as being ashamed of yourself, and you should never be ashamed of who you are.

My accent tells everyone that I am from somewhere in the Southern United States, South Carolina to be exact, a Texas accent is plain enough to say that you are from there, how about New Jersey, or Australia, or Great Britain? Why would you want to be from England and not talk with a British accent? (Actors do it all the time, but that's an entirely different post).

I'm going to talk mainly of  Southern accents because that is what I know. The principles behind what I am saying applies to everyone and in my opinion you should never be made to feel ashamed of you are.

Don Williams sang "Good Ole Boys Like Me" back in 1980, there is one line in this song that speaks on how Southerners are made to feel they should lose their accents to fit in, I know it's only one line in a song but to me it's seriously the way a lot of us are made to think.

But I was smarter than most and I could choose
Learned to talk like the man on the six o'clock news
When I was eighteen, Lord, I hit the road
But it really doesn't matter how far I go

I can still hear the soft Southern winds in the live oak trees
And those Williams boys they still mean a lot to me
Hank and Tennessee
I guess we're all gonna be what we're gonna be
So what do you do with good ole boys like me

To me this part of the song basically says that the smart ones choose to change the way they talk; "Learned to talk like the man on the six o'clock news" but why? I know from experience that our accents are the butt of a lot of jokes, heck I've even made fun of myself in Say That Again.

Our accents are who we are, when I left the South at 18 years old, "When I was eighteen, Lord, I hit the road" I started hearing things like, "Just where in hell is that accent from, are ewe a Tex-sun", "Say that again it sounds so funny when you say it",  "You're going to have to learn how to talk if you want to keep working here Boy!"

This is why it made me so mad, because I've been there. This young man was a perfect gentleman to us, he took care of Cindy's Dad and went out of his way to make sure that Ray was happy. He is a compassionate young man who takes pride in his job, so why should he be made to feel that he won't fit in because "He ain't from around here", and has to change the way he talks?

I know that the customers have to understand him but.... Why in hell in this day and age do we have to all fit into one mold?

Why can't we be ourselves, and why can't we be different?

To hell with the way the man on the six o'clock news talks, especially if he is being forced to talk this way! I shouldn't be made to feel that this is the way everyone should sound.

Just because you talk with a Southern accent doesn't make you stupid, and it doesn't make you a stereotypical hillbilly that they make fun of on TV, this way of thinking is just wrong.

People seriously think this way when they hear a Southern accent, I hate that this has gone on for so many years, and I think it's about time that we start accepting each other for who we are.

We can poke fun at one another in a good natured manner, this is expected of friends, but we should never make fun of someone and make them feel out of place simply because they talk differently.

When you move to other places naturally your accent will change some, I have been told by my family that I have lost mine, but still people I meet want to know where my accent is from and that's OK. Our Daughter picks up the Southern accent whenever she has gone to visit, and hearing Cindy now you would never guess she is from California.

I have no problem with natural changes like this, but when you are told by someone that you need to change your God given way of speaking..... Shame on them.

Be proud of yourself, because the Good Lord made you this way, and don't ever let anyone make you feel that you are not good enough because of the way you look or sound.

OK putting my soapbox away.

"I guess we're all gonna be what we're gonna be, So what do you do with good ole boys like me"

54 comments:

  1. I'm totally captivated by accents - have been since I was a small boy. I love hearing them, speaking them and slotting them into a conversations just for effect.

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    1. Hello Phil, I also love hearing peoples accents, I wouldn't have much luck slotting an accent into conversation because my normal one would mix right in ha ha

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  2. I always find it amusing when I travel to other parts of the country and people tell me I have a "west coast" accent. Accent? Me? Who knew?

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    1. Hello Stephen, Once when we were still living in NM we were here in California visiting, a man stopped us in a mall trying to sell family photos, Cindy told him that we didn't live here, he asked where we were from, Cindy said that she was actually from "Right here in California" but was living in NM, he replied, "I never would have guessed that, you have lost your California accent"

      I guess there is a west coast accent ;)

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  3. Wow...I had no idea that accents were discriminated against. That's ridiulous. That said, I have to admit, I did once ask an ITT long distance 'helper' if perhaps I could speak to someone with a little less accent because I am old and my hearing isn't 100% and I was really having difficulty sorting out what I was being told. I apologized profusely for haviing to ask and I dont think the person was insulted....I hope not...I certainly never meant to insult.

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    1. Hey Delores, I am sure that you insulted no one, some accents are hard to understand until you have been with a person for a while, but you don't have that luxury when dealing with someone on the phone.

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  4. Okay, I need to know. Did your father-in-law get some shoes on that trip?

    When I was in the south years ago people down there had trouble understanding my accent and me theirs. It was like we were from two different countries. My husband acted like a translator and he was raised twenty some miles from me. LOL

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    1. Hello Jean, I am happy to report that Ray did end up with a brand new pair of shoes, and even a pair he likes.

      I can just see your visit to the South with no one understanding the other, it's a good thing Don was there with his translating skills to help everyone out.

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  5. Before coming here and reading this, I watched a video of road rage in the UK. It was funny hearing road rage in British accents!
    I think accents add to our personalities. It's one thing that is "missing" in blogs when we can't hear a blogger's voice.

    There may be a specific reason for the store requesting its employees overcome their accents. Dealing with the public can be a pain - been there. I admire your salesperson's work ethic and dedication.

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    1. Hi Abby, Accents definitely add to our personalities, I never thought of it before you mentioned it but we don't get to hear what everyone sounds like on our blogs, think of all the different accents and personalities, as great as this is now think how amazing it would be if we added in the sounds of our voice to our blogs.

      I know that a deep Southern accent can be hard to understand, I just felt for the kid having been there before myself, although I never worked to lose my accent, I just imagine the work he had to put into hiding the voice he was born with...I understand but still think it's wrong.

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  6. I think my accent is mild at best. Sometimes I'll stray a little from "typical" southern like I saw windows not windurs or Aunt not Ant

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    1. Hey Adam, You probably have more of an accent than you realize simply due to where you are living, but I agree it is definitely mild if you are able to say Aunt rather than Ant ha ha.

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  7. I thought we were all live and let live. Now this? Good grief.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Hello Sandee, you know it all could be just Jimmy overreacting, but I doubt that could be it ;)

      A great day to you too my friend.

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  8. Well, I will admit to not liking an accent when I'm on the phone trying to get some customer service, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms!

    My oldest cracked up when she went away to college (60 miles) and people from that area said she had an accent. I guess we elongate our A's in words like cat.

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    1. Hello Bijoux, I believe we all have an accent or even a mannerism of speaking that is common to the area we live it, and when we travel that difference sticks out like a sore thumb, thus there is the accent we didn't know we had.

      I am sure that is what happened with your Daughter because it's not like she went across country, just 60 miles it's funny there is that big of a difference that close, I bet she was surprised.

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  9. It's accents / dialects that make for such an interesting mix of people.
    Hope Cindy's Dad got his shoes ok.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jan, you are so right my friend, it's the differences like our accents and dialects that keeps this old world interesting.

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  10. I love different accents, some may be so strong that locals have trouble understanding, but I would think that fairly rare. I think with TV and people moving around more these days, we are slowly losing regional accents, it is a pity. Poisonally I don't have an accent, I'm from Joisey, it is youse guys that has the accents.

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    1. Hey Joe, I knew my Buddy from Joisey wood relate ta whut ah wuz ah sayin bout accents.

      I agree with you about everyone moving around and with what we see and hear in the media on how regional accents will start blending, it is a shame.

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    2. Thanks for making me laugh joeh, today had been fairly miserable until now.

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  11. Some accents are very hard to understand, especially when you add in the speed at which they are spoken. I have had to ask those from India to slow down or give me a different agent. My brain can't keep up, trying to decipher the words at 90wpm.

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    1. Hey Sharon, I have more problems with the speed that people talk like you were saying, and then add in any accent and I'm in trouble, I have never talked fast so with that said my listener is slow too.

      I totally understand what you are saying can say I am in the same boat.

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    2. My daughter talks at a million miles per hour and when she was asked to teach a new trainee, K said she'd better be a fast listener.

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  12. Hope there is room on your soapbox for one more. I love accents and think they are what makes our world so darn interesting. Hope you left that young man an atta-boy with his employer.

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    1. Hey Patti, I am proud to make room on my soapbox for you, yes they all know how we feel about him, he is a good kid.

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  13. Well, I spent 30 years out of the South and kept an accent the whole time... But I hated it when people thought I was from SC! I'm from NC, sorry for showing my bias. 30 years ago, I hiked the Appalachian Trail and there were a two guys hiking the trail from England. It was the summer of Crocodile Dundee and everyone wanted to know if they were from Australia. They used to get so mad (unless the offending party was buying them a beer).

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    1. Hey Sage, I have been accused of being from NC myself and like you have had to set the record straight, this kind of bias is understandable because pride in where you are from comes into play, no offense taken I wouldn't expect anything different.

      Oh yes during the Crocodile Dundee era a lot of folks were suddenly Australian, I can see the anger being lessened at the mistake with your English friends as long as the beer was free.

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  14. I am an accent thief. If I spend very long talking to someone with a marked accent I pick it up. I have a friend who stammers. I pick that up too. It isn't intentional but it happens.
    There is accent prejudice in the UK too. If you listen to their newsreaders they all sound the same. Which isn't true of the country more generally.
    It is also true in Australia. I doubt very much that a person with a strong Aussie drawl would get employed as a rewsreader. Which is wrong. I hope it wouldn't stop other employment though.

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    1. Hi EC, my daughter does the same with accents as you, and like you she doesn't realize it.

      I wondered if the accents were different across the UK and Australia like they are in the US, I assumed they would be, thank you for clearing that up for me.

      I would hope the accents don't stop anyone from being employed either.

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  15. What a nice young fellow that was. Accents are everything, they define us and one should ever be ashamed of where they are from, but alas society can be mean in that regard.

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    1. He is a nice young man, I was really impressed with him.

      You are right our accents are everything and we should be proud, it's too bad society can make it hard on individuals who are different in one respect or another.

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  16. Bud was in the Army & stationed at Fort Ord when we were married. I worked as a dental assistant on the post. My boss was Dr. Joe Stewart, who was from Anniston, Alabama. Languages & accents are fun for me. I tend to “parrot” them without realizing it. Bud told me that I was beginning to speak with a southern accent. I told Dr. Stewart what Bud had said & he responded, “So what? Why’s he complainin’? Y’all talkin’ right fo’ the first time in yo’ life!”

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    1. Hey Fran, I Love that “So what? Why’s he complainin’? Y’all talkin’ right fo’ the first time in yo’ life!” I bet Bud got a laugh out of that.

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  17. I love the sound of different accents, Southern, Bostonian, New York; they all sound good. I like the English, Australian and Scottish too. What about how great the accents sound from non-English speaking countries like Italian, French, German, etc. It would really be dull if everyone sounded the same.

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    1. Hello John, you are so right it would be very dull if we all sounded the same, different accents are a big part of our world and it is amazing to hear each and every one.

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  18. I didn't know Missouri had different accents until I went away to college in Springfield, MO. It was easy to pick out the St. Louis people, who could give you "farty qwatters" as change for ten dollars, and might like an ice cream sundah for dessert.

    Here in southeast Missouri, we have a little of that St. Louis ARRR sound. For instance, if you'ns came to visit, we might ask, "Jeet yet?" and offer you some carn on the cob and porksteaks for supper. IF we're not too busy putting our dirty shirts and sharts in the warsher. It's conly expected that you say please and thank-you, and don't act put-out if somebody asks you to help.

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    1. Hello Val, I am very impressed with your explanation of the different accents Missouri has to offer.

      Thank you for that my friend, I now know what to expect next time I go to Missouri.

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  19. Hubby lived for a bit growing up in the south and picked up a bit of an accent. He lost it over time but if he was to go back and visit, he knew it would come back quickly to him. As you may remember, I do medical transcriptionist for a living (type up reports doctors dictate after they see patients). God love you from the south, but I was assigned to an account earlier this year that was in Arkansas. About killed me with the accents. I finally had to think like them/talk like them in my head and I got what they were saying. Now I'm in an account in Florida and I'm getting a lot of English as second language doctors......don't even get me started :)

    Do be proud where you are from and so glad that your father in law had a great shoe salesman that went the extra distance to provide excellent customer care!

    betty

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    1. Hello Betty, When you live in the South or anywhere else for that matter your speech patterns and accent does conform to that area somewhat, like your Husband picking up a Southern accent, and yes I agree if he were to go back his Southern accent would be there waiting for him.

      I wonder with your group from Arkansas if a lot of the problem was in addition to the accents could have been the speed in which they talk? I know that my wife says I talk slowly, and if the same was for them and you are accustomed to people talking faster, could this have contributed to the problem understanding them?

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  20. That little rant was more than worthy of you mounting your soap box for. I totally agree with you. I love both domestic and foreign accents. Accents are part of who we are, both in terms of individuals, and as a country. One of my relatives was dean of a law school, at a major university in Kentucky (where I'm from). Now there is no doubt that he speaks with what some folks call a "mush mouth" accent. He told me that as an attorney, he made a lot of money, and won a lot of cases, because many of his more "civilized" opponents, discounted his abilities solely based on the way he spoke. He then said, "yeah, I was pretty dumb alright, dumb as a damn fox." The man was brilliant, but based only on his accent, people discounted him. Amazing...

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    1. Hey Pat, Good to see you my friend. Yes that is more frustrating to me than anything else when it comes to a Southern accent and yes I know a lot of people who have the "mush mouth" accent (I don't think I do, correct me if I am wrong, you have talked to me before ha ha), but when someone with a Southern accent opens their mouth and is immediately deemed as stupid based solely on their accent, I have put up with that my whole life and it's infuriating.

      Dumb as a damn fox, your relative was brilliant indeed to use it to his advantage, I love it when the tables turn so to say and the other person realizes that you actually know what you are doing.

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    2. I have spoken to you in person, and I had no trouble understanding most of what you said. Just Kidding! No problem whatsoever!

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    3. I'm glad that you understood most of what I said anyways...must be that Kentucky background.

      Thank you Pat, I appreciate you my friend.

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  21. I like to hear different accents, I think they're interesting. I do have trouble on the phone though, if someone who is just learning English and calling me from a call centre in India or somewhere else, I often have to just hang up on them because I can't understand the and can't make them understand that I can't understand them. Irritating for me and sad for them.
    Even here in Australia we have different speech patterns in different states and because I've lived in several states I've picked up certain ways of saying certain words, but my accent was all mixed up and I had people asking me what country I'm from as they couldn't guess. I think it's more evened out now that I've been in my home state for 31 years.
    But here's something: I was born in Germany with an unpronouncable surname. We arrived in Australia before my first birthday and I grew up speaking only Australian English, yet when I applied for a job with a hairdresser, she turned me down saying she wanted someone "more Australian", based solely on my surname and possibly my colouring which isn't paper-white.

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    1. Hello River, Those speaking in very broken English and with an Indian accent thrown in are almost impossible for anyone to understand, you would wish they had a better grasp on the language first.

      When I was still working part of my job was going to peoples homes, turning water on, checking for leaks, and even collecting bills, now picture this, I don't know Spanish and I have had several Hispanic customers, they are talking Spanish/very broken English and I am speaking my Southern English while throwing in some Spanish words I have heard, we end up laughing at one another but throughout the exchange somehow finally sort of understand each other, at ant rate I got my job done and the customer seemed satisfied.

      You being turned down for a job based solely on your surname and coloring is a crying shame, you are probably more Australian than the person who turned you down for the position...I hate it when people come to their own conclusions before even getting to know you.

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  22. I love accents.... all of them. To try and disguise who you are by changing your accent is almost fraudulent. Company bosses who expect their staff to change to something 'proper' should be horsewhipped. Ooooh I feel so cross!

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    1. Good morning Valerie, "To try and disguise who you are by changing your accent is almost fraudulent." I agree with you 100% it is almost a crime to have to change who you are like this, and being forced to change your accent to be deemed proper, who is to say that you are not already more proper than the Company boss.

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  23. Even though I've lived in South Carolina most of my life some folks in this state say I have an out-of-state accent when they hear my voice. On the other hand I can't say three words anywhere else without someone instantly replying, "Oh you must be from the deep South."

    I usually shake it off but I admit there was one guy from Massachusetts who ticked me off with his tone.

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    1. Isn't that strange how the locals hear you one way but everyone else completely different.

      The tone says it all I hate that smug tone like they are looking down their nose at you, I'm just glad everyone is not like that.

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  24. I couldn't agree with you more Jimmy. Applauding loudly here :)

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    1. Thank you Denise, I am honored my friend. :)

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  25. People love my southern accent. The franchise I work for is owned by yankies. I have heard words like "she not really got a good phone voice". But I have been there now for 24 years and people love to hear me talk. The headquarters in Ohio used to call sometimes just to hear me talk. Its all allrite.
    Lisa

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    1. Hey Lisa, It appears to me that you do have a good phone voice after all, if they are calling just to hear you talk rather than make fun they have kept you 24 years because you are that good I would say.

      Pays to have a good ole Southern accent ;)

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