The Corner

Re: Barb and Jenna — Valley Girls

Derb, I think it must be a

class thing. In the upscale Dallas neighborhood where, I’m told, the Bush

girls lived for a while with their parents, you’d be hard-pressed to find

any young person with an accent that sounded identifiably Texan. Our old NR

friend Bill Murchison lives there too, and he sounds deeply Texan (it’s a

pleasure to hear him speak). But younger folks just don’t have much of a

twang. I get ragged by my sister back in Louisiana for not having a strong

Southern accent, like she does and all my family do. I think I unconsciously

lost it, because somewhere along the line, strong regional accents became

associated with a lack of education and sophistication. It’s not true, of

course, but I suspect that that stereotype has something to do with it, and

that it started with Generation X. It’s weird, because I very much wish I

had the accent that I grew up with back, but if I tried to speak that way

now, after so many years of living outside the South, it’d be a total

put-on.

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