Ain’t got a thang if you ain’t got that twang

In the last few months, but especially in the last three weeks or so, I’ve noticed my Texas accent emerging in full, twangy force.

I lived 18 years in Oklahoma without developing an accent, and for most of my 10 years in Texas I also managed to be mostly twangless, except for in moments of extreme agitation, excitement or inebriation. But now? Dude, my long vowels just get longer and longer.

What gives?

I actually do have a theory: The blame lies with homesickness. Perhaps I miss Texas so much I’m inadvertently conjuring an accent just so I can hear it again.

Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting some faculty members from NYU’s journalism department, and though I didn’t mean to, I’m afraid I might have let slip a Texany, dipthongy “I” or two. It’s a damned shame people from outside the South equate a Southern accent with ignorance. Some of the most intelligent people I know come from Texas and Oklahoma, damn it. Not that I’m defensive or anything.

In all fairness, if the people I met tonight turned their noses up at my Texasness, they did it so subtly I didn’t notice. From what I can tell, the journalism faculty members at NYU are fairly down to earth and friendly — friendlier, to be perfectly frank, and with a less obvious need to prove themselves the smartest/quirkiest/most earnest/best read people in the room than many of the grad students I ever met in Austin. By the way, Chris M. and Chris B., you don’t count in this assessment, for you are both fantastic.

Anyway, it’s tiiime to remove my contacts, cliiimb the ladder and craw-wul into bay-yud. G’niiight.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Ain’t got a thang if you ain’t got that twang

  1. I’ve lived in Oklahoma and Texas for pretty much my whole life – I start out the day with a cultivated non-accented voice. By the end of the day, after talking for 9 hours, I sound like a very foul mouthed version of Elly May Clampett.

  2. Kin

    I live in Oklahoma and can usually avoid sounding like an Okie. I try to pick up on the local accent when I travel. I had a bad habit of sounding Aussie when I was around my friend from Australia. 🙂

  3. Liz

    Giggle… I lived there for 2 years and people think I am from there, the Pacific Northwesterners think the accent is ‘cute..’ and then I tell them I am from Detroit. BTW, you are my hero for leaving Dallas to move to New York… You have major guts, girl… keep going for it!

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