No, when I step away from Ahl-uh-bamm-uh, I get asked annoying questions like “Did your family tree fork and then come back together, or did it always run straight up?”. Chances are I call carbonated drinks “coke” (not “co-colla” like many of my Southern brethren, however). I have spent the greater part of my life minimizing my accent on account of being taunted by other crackers because my accent was so bad, and the negative connotations that come with it. I am reminded of a joke from Jeff Foxworthy’s Games Rednecks Play album that he later summed up in an episode of Do you Speak American:
You know I mean some of the, the most intelligent people I’ve ever known talk like I do. In fact I used to do a joke about that, about you know the Southern accent, I said nobody wants to hear their brain surgeon say, ‘Al’ight now what we’re gonna do is, saw the top of your head off, root around in there with a stick and see if we can’t find that dad burn clot.’
[Update 2 April 2013]
The Telegraph posted an article today on this topic. From the article:
Five per cent of those surveyed said they have overplayed their own natural accent and six per cent have softened it.
Six per cent have tried using a different regional accent and four per cent have adopted a fake foreign one, said the survey.
Those most likely to reduce their natural accent are in the West Midlands where 16 per cent admit they have had occasion to soften their Brummie tones.
But only two per cent of Scots admit they have ever reduced their regional accent for the sake of others, Trulawn’s figures added.
Good for the Scots. They have a wonderful accent anyway.
[Update: 5 April 2013]
Academics ‘dropping regional accents’ to fit in at elite universities