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Why Does a Southern Drawl Sound Uneducated to Some?


Society & Culture  (tags: society, culture, family, interesting, world, humans, celebrity )

Carrie
- 596 days ago - blogs.scientificamerican.com
Studies have shown that whether you are from the North or South, a Southern twang pegs the speaker as comparatively dimwitted, but also likely to be a nicer person than folks who speak like a Yankee.



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Comments

Cheryl O. (82)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 3:12 pm
Adele has a British Accent and I think she's amazing. One of the most talented singers I have ever seen. Not at all dimwitted I love to hear her talk and sing. There is nobody in the world like ADELE.
 

(8)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 4:20 pm
It just sounds stupid. Why can't southerners learn to speak properly?
 

Florence Eaise (132)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 4:57 pm
There is a big difference thats for sure ii lived in NJ for most of my life but for almost four years i moved to florida for my dads job and it took a while to get used to th etwang but hey to be fair it took them a while to get used to the jersey accent im sure i had i also think that brits alwas sound so very intelligent no matter what they are saying thanks Carrie
 

Terry V. (30)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:11 pm
thanks
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:24 pm
Because media likes to show "hillbillies" as idiots.

Half of my family is not only southern but also EDUCATED. Every heard Shelby Foote speak? That's the sound of my family...real people, not stereotypes.

I'm sure that some New Yorkers are intelligent, too....but.....that accent!
 

Carrie B. (304)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:26 pm
Stereotyping is a dangerous thing to do!
 

Shelly Peterson (213)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:27 pm
GREAT POST!, CARRIE!!!.....(like Cheryl, I love Adele's singing!)......but this article is about "preconceived predjudices, based on "accents"...it took me until I was an adult, to EVEN UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE WERE...EVEN... PREDJUDICE!!!...though I was definitely seeing , experiencing during High school...not towards me!..I am white, here in the Pacific N.W./Seattle,56 years old...but back in the 1960's & 70'S, IT WAS so evident!!!...and the "kids" that were predjudice...well, when they said "something" against exchange students..or the first black family to move to the neighborhood and came to school...the WHOLE SCHOOL RALLIED!!!..and these spoiled rotten brats, even though their parents came from Normandy Park,...got their ASSES KICKED, BY THE REST OF THE FOOTBALL TEAM, THE BASKETBALL TEAM, THE PEP CLUB, THE CHEERLEADERS....LIKE,.... EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!(we were considered the "whimp school in the area", cuz we would rather be racing cars and having FUN partys..AND EVERYONE WAS INVITED AND INCLUDED!!!!..WE DID NOT FIGHT!..)..UNTIL THIS!!!...we said no to predjudice in every form, period, as a whole school, AS A WHOLE COMMUNNITY!!!!!!!...AND WE HAVE CARRIED ON THAT TRADITION and instilled in our children , for the betterment on MANKIND!!..Together, WE are the stewards of our Earth!!...AND TOGETHER, WE MUST...RAKE THE CRAP, FROM THE TRUTH!!....WE don't care what your accent is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....WE CARE WHAT YOU SAY AND HOW YOU LIVE AND THE EFFECT IT HAS ON THE REST OF US!!!.....Accents, are the "music" of humanity!...may the words be spoken for all humanity, and may WE celebrate!!!........and the hatred....SEND TO HELL, WHERE IT BELONGS!!!!!!!
 

BarbKnight SunshineLady (1634)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:36 pm
I'm Southern and PROUD of it!! I probably sound it too, huh Carrie? But to other Southerners we don't sound southern....we sound normal!! LOL Thnx Carrie!! BTW I love all kinds of accents and I LOVE to imitate the Bri'ish accent. You shoule 'ear me sing 'Chim Chimaree' with a Bri'ish accent; I'd make Richard Dawson PROUD!! LOL
 

Shelly Peterson (213)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:50 pm
AUGH!...okay, took a break!..obviously, this is an important issue to me...and what I really want to share is....this is 2012..almost 2013..not 1960/1970's....it was because of the SCHOOL'S ADMINASTATORS..and OUR PARENTS...that WE, as a school student body, ..SAID NO TO PREDJUDICE!!!(..and we were getting in trouble for racing cars and the extracurricular partys on the weekends!!!..OUR ADULTS CARED ABOUT US!!)...and THEY WERE PROUD OF US, FOR STANDING UP FOR THAT WHICH IS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MAY 2013,...be BETTER!!!...than ANYTHING WE ACCOMPLISHED BACK IN THE '70S!!!
 

Carrie B. (304)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 5:59 pm
Yes Barb, you most certainly sound southern. Our youngest son and his family have been living in the south since 2003. Even though his wife is from New Mexico, she sounds like she was born and raised in the south. When the family gets together everyone is amazed by how different Erica sounds. She actually sounds really cute and doesn't understand why we just stare at her when she talks. Makes for fun moments!
 

jo M. (3)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 6:06 pm
Stereotypes. We've been subjected to them all our lives, and media definitely makes it worse.

I love Adele's voice, too. I imagine Greg is wondering why she can't learn to speak English properly.
 

Jason S. (57)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 6:07 pm
good posting, thanks
 

Veronica C. (42)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 9:25 pm
"Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" isn't helping the stereotype either. (It isn't helping much of anything.)
 

Edith B. (142)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 10:29 pm
I am a product of the south, my parents and grandparents came from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky. I grew up in Kentucky. I lived in Michigan for seven years and was discriminated against on a daily basis for my accent. I have a college education, and am certainly as intelligent as the kid working the drive-thru at McDonalds. I have traveled to other areas of our country and always enjoy the different accents. I think it is time this prejudice was laid to rest. Northerners are not smarter, they just talk faster.
 

Alexandra Rodda (176)
Monday December 10, 2012, 3:16 am
Maybe it's Gone with the Wind.
Interesting prejudice. Maybe it is Karma! Southerners are more prejudiced against Negroes. This is their chance to experience a bit of prejudice against them.
Wouldn't it be nice to live in a more respectful, kinder and more discerning world with no prejudice?
 

cecily w. (0)
Monday December 10, 2012, 5:31 am
This article doesn't accurately differentiate between the true "southern drawl" and the so-called "hillbilly twang". The real southern drawl is soft--perhaps due to French influence. I moved up here as a teenager in 1959, and have been told I still have vestiges of a soft southern accent. (Yes, I still say "Y'all".)

One funny thing though, those country singers who are put down for their "hillbilly" accents are twanging every time they take their money to the bank.
 

Miranda Lyon (166)
Monday December 10, 2012, 5:37 am
Language is the words. Dialect and accent are the music.
 

Deborah W. (6)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:28 am
Haven't a clue. New Yorkers sound different than Chicagoans ... and that seems to fly OK. NO ONE SPEAKS THE KING'S ENGLISH, get over it.
 

Dandelion G. (381)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:38 am
Being New England raised that would make me a northerner, however being raised in Massachusetts, the Liberal State that was the only one who voted for George McGovern, we were taught to be respectful to others, no matter where they came from. I never realized how being a New Englander was one thing, but being raised in the city of Newburyport was another.

We were a strong Union area, the history of the famous Bread and Roses was taught in school as we were one of the towns along the river called Mill Towns, William Lloyd Garrison the famous abolitionist, who was jailed for his strong stand and writings, was born and raised in Newburyport, he also stood up for Womens Sufferage, we were also taught about him.

We had a strong Unitarian Universalist congregation, as we were only 35 miles outside of Boston and whose white Unitarian Universalist Minister James Reeb went to the south to register blacks and was murdered for his efforts; his death resulted in a national outcry against racism. Newburyport is the place of birth for the United States Coast Guard, again saving people.

Newburyport had a long tradition of being on the forefront of many issues over the span of this Countries history. It was in Newburyport that the actual FIRST Tea Party happened, as it was looked upon as a good idea the second one, the famous one, was done in Boston, they being the Capital got the historical credit. But we have our plaque on one of our buildings downtown that rights the history on it. I'm only sorry this proud open minded tradition of our town wasn't carried forth with the latest Tea Party people that are more well known today.

What I am trying to say, that these notions of things like skin color, accents, where one was born is ingrained in us at early ages, but it is up to us as adults to look at these stereotypes and reformulate our minds. I'm just really happy I was born into such an open, accepting and free thinking community that I've been blessed at being able to accept people for their hearts not their color, religion, place of birth or accent. Now living in the south, Florida, that is a melting pot to so many people from all over not only the United States but other Countries I can feel at home in this area of many diversities.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:09 am
I have met many people who you wouldn't realize are southern. I've met people from Texas who have no accent at all. People peg Louisianans as slow witted and almost dumb. I beg to differ as Tulane University might not have much of a football team; but they have a first class university and hospital which produces some very talented and fine minds. Don't let race and color or an accent determine whether a person is intelligent or not. Think about what would have happened if those two English professors hadn't rescued Ramanujan; one of the greatest minds in mathematics and physics. It was a shame he died so young due to complications of the austere poverty and dangerous conditions into which he was born.
 

Mitchell D. (129)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:24 am
Very interesting, and true for my own self. Perhaps this is part of my bias against Country music, coming from the Northeast, though i did like the Bluegrass instrumentals I was able to somehow pick up on my radio, as an adolescent.
 

Terrie Williams (761)
Monday December 10, 2012, 10:16 am
Weeeeeeeelllll......let's seeeeeee here......I was born in Missourah (yeah, real Missourians say 'ah' not 'E'(I) on the end of it. :) Then I lived all over the world picking up languages like cookies. (I still have a sharp ear ...and a sharp tongue when it comes to mispronunciations...for inflections) so, at one time I spoke, read and could passibly write in German, Polish, Russian, Italian, Spanish (3 dialects), King's English and Amurikin (known as our English). The only one I didn't pick up was Danish...and that's because we didn't live there long enough. Then back to the states living all over this country and picking up the local inflections...north, south, east and west.

Now, I have been down here in TX for the longest part of my life and according to friends and family still in the Midwest, I sound like a native born Texan. To my ears, I do not but who cares what I think. I STILL get poked fun at by native born Texans for the way I say 'Iced Tea' and 'Mine and 'Call'', including hubby! Needless to say, I get it from Northerners who hear it too! But to those who have lived in many cultures or come from a multi-cultural family, I do not sound anything other than 'Continental'. And Cecily is right, there is a difference between 'soft drawl' which I have and the 'hard drawl' of Mountain cultures.

By the way, not bragging, just stating fact....I have a 162 IQ, 3 degrees in three years and worked 40 hour weeks while doing that....so Greg......do you really want go there on intellegence and Southern linguistic capabilities???? We can debate on ignorance and stupidity, which I do frequently, but.....ignorance can be fixed. Ya cain't fix stupid. :)
 

Chris C. (147)
Monday December 10, 2012, 10:19 am
I LOVE the music of different accents. I'm from the middle of the country but picked up a North NJ accent when I lived there for 4+ yrs. My friends back home would kid me when I spoke. My little brother needed me as an interpreter when my NJ husband spoke. Then I lived for awhile in Texas where I quickly picked up a drawl.
I think the stereotyping is alot the fault of the media...not to mention the HORRENDOUS, so-called "reality" shows on TV which make certain areas of the country and it's people, a laughing stock. I personally cannot stomach the so-called reality shows. I don't want to insult my intelligence!
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday December 10, 2012, 2:49 pm
Adele? She's British? Do they have northern and southern accents in Britain? Probably. They have that cockney rhyming slang.

"southern" isn't the only funny sounding accent around the US. Don't dare say what the others are though.
 

Christine Stewart (131)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:20 pm
I personally like listening to someone with a southern accent, but when Larry the Cable Guy goes overboard with the accent in his routine, ya cain't hep but feel lahk heese dropped a fyew Aye Cue pointzzz...
 

Nimue P. (228)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:55 pm
An accent of any kind is no measure of intelligence. Just as sometimes southern americans are thought to be less intelligent because of the drawl, us aussies cop that too, they think we're stupid because we don't talk with a plumb in our gobs. Some people think a cultured English accent denotes intelligence, it doesn't. The british royal family speak like toffs, but they certainly aren't renowned for their intelligence. We should all be proud of our unique accents.
 

Nimue P. (228)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:57 pm
Whoops, that was meant to be "plum", not "plumb", sorry for the typo.
 

Ginger Geronimo (448)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 12:13 pm
I was born & raised in Birmingham, Alabama. I've lived here my whole life & I know that I sound southern as can be. That does not make me an idiot though. Not everyone who lives in the north is automatically rude either.
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:24 pm
I think Veronica's comment above hit on an important point....TV shows like Honey Boo Boo aren't helping. Remember Hee Haw? Those comedians were never considered "intellectual." Seems like the media has had a big part in casting Southern drawlers as "less than."
 

onita Caldwell (32)
Monday December 24, 2012, 11:03 am
To qoute the late great Lewis Grizzard: American by birth and southern by the grace of God! Jeff Foxworthy says the Lord talks like we do. Ya'll are gonna get a surprise when you get to heaven and he says," Ya'll get in the truck we're goin' to the big house." You Yankees sound just as weird to us as we do to you. Get over it!
 
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