I was born in Memphis, and moved to Mississippi when I was five, and it was there when I developed my strong southern drawl. By the time I was ten I moved to Savannah, GA where I always got grief about my accent. However, the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened was when I was flying to Memphis to visit my mom, and there was a woman from Baltimore sitting beside me and asked, “How are you?” I simply replied “Fine how about you?” she had a sneer look on her face and started talking very slowly to me using a phony southern accent, and that pissed me off. Yes, I have a heavy southern accent, but that does not make me unintelligent.

How about you, do you think that a southern accent makes someone dumb, or have you had any incidents where people talked down to you because of a southern accent?
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Not at all-- you just met a linguistic bigot. Many other people, including me, love the southern drawl.
Me too. I've also heard that, more often than not, Southern accent gives an impression that you are friendly, honest, and reliable person.
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People are prejudiced about all kinds of things, but hopefully you won't find many people on these boards who judge others by the way they pronounce their words.
MemphissunriseBy the time I was ten I moved to Savannah, GA where I always got grief about my accent.
Hi Memphissunrise
I'm a northern fan of "the" southern drawl. It surprised me that you wrote that you got grief about your accent in Georgia. From my "northern" perspective, I would expect people in Savannah to speak with a southern drawl too. So, how is your Mississsippi accent different from the accent in Savannah?
Well, I hate to say it, but Mississippi and the central Louisiana areas probably has the most stigmatized accent - it screams "redneck" to a person who is inclined to be prejudiced about these things in the first place. (Although Peyton Manning is doing his best to contradict that.)

Savannah and Charlotte have "dawls."

I have a latent Southern accent - my father is from the South. It comes out spontaneously as soon as I hear it in someone else. I hope they don't think I'm making fun of them when I do it. I'm not even conscious of the fact I'm doing it. All I have to do is say "Piggly Wiggly" and I'm right there with you.
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Southern accents rock! Well, actually I like most accents, generally speaking.
Do you think that a Southern Accent makes someone dumb?
You can't be serious. (And being dumb doesn't make you speak with a southern accent either.)

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I moved from North Carolina to Los Angeles. I do not have a thick Southern accent, but some people (who grew up on the West Coast) think that it is the epitome of a Southern accent. In the South people never thought I was native to the area and people on the East Coast don't hear it or think twice about it.  In SoCal I get a lot of grief over the slight accent that I have... and I  have to say that it is the ONE thing I do not like about living in L.A. I guess they are going by comparison. Compared to other people in the South, my accent seems almost non existent, but if you are in n area with nothing to compare it to, maybe so. Apparently so.

Things I experience biweekly: 

* Once while drinking a few... in an appalled tone... "Why do you sound so Southern all of the sudden?" ... as if it is something bad.

* A few instances people have repeated what I said in their version of a fake Southern drawl and it sounds so idiotic. Love to hear that.

* One or two instances people have assumed that I am prejudice and small minded and told me racial jokes or made prejudice remarks as if they are confiding in someone who understands and it could not be further from the truth.

* Many assume that you are unworldly and sheltered. Haven't had different/exotic types of cuisine or that you grew up eating fried chicken, cornbread and collard greens. I never had that as a meal on the table growing up?

* Some people ask "Wow...what are you doing out here?" ... as if I am any different from all the other transplants in L.A.

Obviously I have some kind of an accent, or people wouldn't do this. It has been an eye opening experience. I have never had the slightest inkling as to what it would feel like to be a minority or be the victim of stereotypes or prejudices. Now I do. The thing about being Southern is, people think it's okay to poke fun or disrespect you. If I were Chinese with an accent and I spoke to you... you would NEVER repeat what I said in your best Chinese sounding effort and laughed. You just wouldn't, but if you are Southern it is somehow okay.

I wish it were not true and you can say I'm sensitive. The sad fact is.. that it is true. It's really amazing what we assume by what we hear and see. I guess we all are prejudice to some degree, but were not all bigots. We can't help but come to conclusions about what we think when we hear or see things. This is the world we live in and as long as we are different from one another, this is life. It all comes down to being educated about different people and their cultures. The standard stereotype is rarely the reality. We can't help what pops into our minds, but we can be aware that this first impression is VERY likely to change. Take time to talk with people before you really decide who they are. I'm speaking to myself, as well.

I found the funniest quote. Funny, because it mocks it all. 

"Stereotypes are REAL time savers."

I love it.
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