Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Southern Dialects, Accents, Regionalisms = Redneck?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland
The Northeast
The Inland North
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

So, I saw this on another blog and found it oddly ironic to what I've been thinking about a lot lately. I felt I would share with you why I immediately jumped on taking this test... while on business a few weeks ago, my employer (the president of the company) discussed a potential job opportunity with me. It's a job in sales in which I would be calling on major retail accounts all over the United States. I won't go into details, but it sounds like my dream job!

In the meantime, he has challenged me in two ways- 1) to reduce my regional dialect & to learn to "style shift" (turn the accent on & off depending on which territory I'm selling to) and 2) to be less "folksy" (humorous, down-to-earth, neighborly, naive, fun-loving). He suggested that I improve my oral communication skills through Regional Dialect Reduction classes. For those of you who are a little confused, he basically wants me to lose my Southern accent and appear more sophisticated and restrained, more professional. I've done a little research on this training and I have found a handful of ladies that teach Dialect Modification in the Memphis area. I'm just wondering, do you know anyone who has ever taken these classes for their profession? Please leave a comment in the box... even if it's just to show support for this Mississippi Redneck!


Anonymous said...

hi hillary,
this is laura buchtel mcwhirter. i have definitely been in your shoes! I had to get rid of my new orleans/southern accent in order to find a job in television. it is not easy, but it can be done. i took classes, and also practiced by myself at home (i know it sounds crazy...) a tape recorder is a great tool.

let me know if you want some specific really can be done. when i compare my tapes from college to my tapes now, it is a huge difference. also, i have my "television" voice and my normal everyday voice, and they are different. so you don't have to completely lose your "hillary" voice, you just have to know when to use which.

i know this is so random, but it is something that i have struggled with, just let me know if you want some more information, info on voice coaches, whatever.

good luck!

Christi & Michael said...

Gosh, Hil! Good luck with that! I took the quiz and I got "The Midland" which basically means I have no accent. Whatever that means....

thereynolds said...

AH! I feel your pain...I need to do the same thing for work too! Let me know how it goes. Good luck!!

Jay, Lauren and Liza said...

Hey Hilary,

This is Lauren Martina Hughey. Your post was really interesting to me... I just graduated grad school for Speech-Language Pathology. Although, I wouldnt know where to start, it is within our scope of practice to work with people wanting to change their dialiect. I havent seen it or worked with it, but I know that it is done all the time! The biggest thing that we discussed with clients wanting this, is to make sure they understood that there is nothing WRONG with their particular dialect... but if they WANT it changed, it can be!!! Wish I could offer more help!