Should I stop speaking like a Yank?
November 14, 2007 8:06 PM Subscribe
My boss would like me to drop my accent by developing a Southern one. Is this a bad idea?
posted by anonymous to Writing & Language (65 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I live in the South (in the US). I was raised in the Western US by Yankee parents, so I have a Yankee accent. Now I have a good job (that I don't want to quit, so please don't suggest that) in the deep south.
My boss and co-workers say they can't always understand me. Part of this is because I mumble a bit, but I try to enunciate when they say, "what?"
I've never been good at mimicking accents, so my speech hasn't changed despite living here for over two years.
Yet every time I've spoken Southern, they claim I do a good job, but to me, it sounds like a cheap imitation. It also seems like I would have to speak Southern full time on the job otherwise the locals will think I am making fun of them. I would feel weird answering my cell ("oh, it is my parents, speak normally" vs "oh, it is Bob, step up the drawl.")
A guy I spoke with on the phone later asked my boss if I was a foreigner. (But maybe to him, foreigner=yank.)
Is there anything wrong with adopting an accent? If you are a native Southerner, would it make you mad to hear a Yank without an accent? Is there anything I am not considering?
(posting anon because my posting history would easily lead people to where I work and I don't want to get harassed)