Accents, not for the faint of heart

Elizabeth Anne and I were having an interesting discussion the other day. Well, we have interesting discussions most days, but this day we found ourselves on the topic of accents and regions.

We found ourselves discussing how so many people think a Texas accent is a Southern accent. For the record, it’s not, if you think it is, travel to Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi or even Arkansas. Louisiana is Southern, but they have their own special accent and a lot of them, there is New Orleans accents, Cajun accents and a combination. The Carolina’s have low country accents and they have Charlestonian accents. It can become confusing, however, they do not have Texan accents.

Texans are a strange combination of the Southerners that fled here after the civil war, my great grandparents being among them, South of the Border, and yes, Northerners.

For the record, Oklahomans aren’t Southerners either, my family has the uniqueness of having a Southern grandmother, who had a genuine Southern Belle mother. I had lessons in how to walk in a hoop skirt, because she was convinced the fashion was going to make a comeback.

However, she was born in Ft Worth, Texas, so my bloodline is further confused.

Back to accents, a true Southern accent does not include the word aint, caint, seed (as in I aint never seed nothin like that) and yes I have heard that phrase in public. A person with a true Southern accent does speak English. With flare. I should know, my grandmother had a way of turning a phrase. My own mother (adopted mother for those keeping track) was actually born in Arkansas, where her mother was from. My mom didn’t have an accent, she abhorred bad grammar, I was taught by the best. She was an amazing woman who knew that a skillfully turned phrase could turn a persons day around. Or it could be used as a sharp edged weapon, full disclosure, she really did try and curb that tendency in myself.

Texans are a prideful people, they know they are in a category unto themselves, yet they also know how to accept outsiders. Something they have over true Southerners, breaking into a Southern community as anything other than being from that region is a daunting prospect.

When I lived in Georgia I fared fairly well, as my great-great grandmother was from there and surprisingly was remembered. Me being her descendent was a bonus, I was marginally accepted.

When I moved to Texas I was further accepted, because everyone in my neighborhood was from elsewhere. New York was represented, Oklahoma, California and some native Texans were as well.

I have been told I don’t really have an accent, I do, but it is not Southern, Texan or Georgian, it is Owassoan.

I will always be American first, Oklahoman second and a Texas dweller by choice. Viking and German by genetics, but that is a whole different Angie World.

You know if you have a hick, redneck or backwoods accent, please stop confusing this with Southern. Watch Gone with the Wind for real Southern accents. But not Louisiana accents, once again, those are a league unto themselves, and they are amazing. All of them.

I may be a little buzzed from all of the caffeine I have had today, but it is true, all of it.

I sit here, writing this, with an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the background. I find I am still blown away from the greatness that is Joss Whedon. Can we all take a moment to thank God Almighty for creating such an amazing storyteller. Cordelia Chase is still one of my favorite characters and I am really glad Hulu has these amazing episodes.

I know I may take a lot of heat for this, but all of the words are true. If you really want to speak Southern, seriously, watch GwtW. Otherwise realize you’re not speaking Southern, you are speaking Texan. Which is wonderful in its own way, I have a friend that speaks Texan. He speaks English, with that Texan accent, it’s awesome.

Any comments, complaints or questions can be left here or sent to me at angie@angieworld.com.

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