Shocked, Shocked

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3 Comments

  1. I visited East Tennessee for a storytelling festival and the parking was supervised by some students from the state college in Johnson City, the sort of institution which gets 90%+ of it’s clientele in-state. Their accents were just like this chap at the beginning of the video. In fact, looks like the same guy, though I suppose it’s just a similar physical type. The loss of the Southern accent is depressing, and gives one the idea that much of what’s been peculiarly agreeable and interesting about the South has gone with it.

  2. I am one of the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of recent (last decade or so!) of newcomers to Tennessee. Folks are moving here (to Middle and East Tennessee) from everywhere–California, Florida, the Midwest, and I’ve even met several people from New York and New Jersey in my current little town, which is unbelievable. This is going to mean the death of Southern ways here, I imagine.

  3. Art Deco wrote, “The loss of the Southern accent is depressing, and gives one the idea that much of what’s been peculiarly agreeable and interesting about the South has gone with it.”

    The loss of local dialects or languages always saddens me.

    In the summer of 196t I paid my only visit to the United States with some friends from Oxford, who wanted to make recordings of various dialects, songs, traditional story-telling &c.

    We travelled through the Salem and Springfield Plateaus and the Boston Mountains and collected a good deal of material on old Grundig tape-recorders.

    Where we were fortunate is that, at that time, there was a whole generation of people, anyone over 50, who had grown up without radio or talking pictures, so their dialects would have been truly indigenous. Curiously, we encountered some words and turns of phrase that I had though peculiar, not only to Scotland, but to Ayrshire.

    One of our companions, a Rhodes Scholar, was from the area and was able to procure us many introductions and co-operation that might not otherwise have been forthcoming.

    The people were charming and hospitable, as rooted to the soil as the peasants of the Auvergne and able to recite their genealogies like Scottish Highlanders. They never sat down to table without remembering the Giver.

    It was as unlike the popular notion of America on this side of the pond as one could well imagine.

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