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Old 11-22-2015, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Richmond, Virginia
150 posts, read 151,321 times
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Maybe some times. But in general. When Southerners move North, its amazing how quickly they can lose their accents . But you hear Northerners living in Georgia or TN and they still talk like Yankees. And they've lived there for years. You'd think living there their accents would at least soften up a bit. I hear people in Colonial Williamsburg. The Northern accents from the retirees there always jump out like a sore thumb. The worst part is they still seem think they speak better than Southerners. Its kind of insulting. But they don't understand how bad they sound to our ears. Why is this?
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,099 posts, read 1,123,809 times
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What? Northern accents don't sound *bad*.
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Behind You!
1,949 posts, read 3,520,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvabread22 View Post
Maybe some times. But in general. When Southerners move North, its amazing how quickly they can lose their accents . But you hear Northerners living in Georgia or TN and they still talk like Yankees. And they've lived there for years. You'd think living there their accents would at least soften up a bit. I hear people in Colonial Williamsburg. The Northern accents from the retirees there always jump out like a sore thumb. The worst part is they still seem think they speak better than Southerners. Its kind of insulting. But they don't understand how bad they sound to our ears. Why is this?
I was going to give you an actual reason why but then you went ignorant at the end so I won't bother wasting the keystrokes. What the real question should be is why are (some) Southern natives SO beyond obsessed with South vs North.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:48 AM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
6,515 posts, read 7,456,802 times
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There are a lot of factors here. First some people try to preserve their accent from the place they originally came from. That is an intentional choice they are making, and I believe it would take a lot of effort to do it. The longer someone lives in a new location the more natural it will be to assimilate. I have no idea why someone would do this but yet some do. Also if you are judging this on dealing with retirees I would say that older people are far less likely to change their speech patterns after 70 years of living up north. I also think that it depends on where "up north" they are from. Northeast accents like the New Jersey, or New England are very different and they are quite entrenched. I bet its tough to undo that. Someone from Indiana or Ohio would be more likely to soften their northern accent, or lose it all together. Also not all people who move north from southern states lose their accent either. Michigan famously attracted tens of thousands of southerners looking for auto jobs in the early to mid 1900s. So many did it that country songs have been written about it. Some of those folks ended up talking like perfect Midwesterners and others spoke with a southern drawl till the day they died. People are all different and a lot of it depends on an individuals desire to assimilate.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,917,166 times
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Generally speaking, accents are pretty much set by 16. Kids and young teens shift accents to match peers effortlessly, but it takes a lot of conscious work as an adult to speak as a native, either in terms of a foreign language or a regional accent.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Center City
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Northerners don't have accents.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:22 AM
 
484 posts, read 391,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvabread22 View Post
Maybe some times. But they don't understand how bad they sound to our ears. Why is this?
Perhaps they keep coming into contact with Southerners whose home training taught them that one of the cornerstones of courtesy is to avoid putting the other person into a position where they can't avoid being rude in response.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:29 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
2,600 posts, read 1,359,145 times
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Most people do retain something of their original accent, even tho they may fit in more as the years go on. This is not just Northerners, however. You are revealing your ignorance of speech characteristics if you think this. Your original question could just as easily have been written by someone from Chicago, or Boston (and it would have sounded just as stupid and insulting).
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
10,422 posts, read 12,412,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
Northerners don't have accents.
Don't say that to Bostonians/New Yawkers.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,708 posts, read 36,132,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
Most people do retain something of their original accent, even tho they may fit in more as the years go on. This is not just Northerners, however. You are revealing your ignorance of speech characteristics if you think this. Your original question could just as easily have been written by someone from Chicago, or Boston (and it would have sounded just as stupid and insulting).
Right on.

I'm southern born and bred and in fact even though we're a military family, most of my life was spent living in the South (and I have loved it).

However, when I was about seven, we lived about a year in Ohio. We also lived for three years right after that in NOVA. During that time period, I picked up "you guys" rather than the ubiquitous "y'all" of the South.

Now, don't get me wrong - I say "y'all" often - I mean I use it a lot. But even though I am 53 years old, that "you guys" comes out almost as often as "y'all" and that's a throwback to an impressionable time in my "speech pattern" life.
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