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Y’all are racist

So, Oak Ridge National Labs, where they make and store and transport and handle all the nukes, decided to offer a class on getting rid of those embarrassing southern accents. Then changed their mind:

After a backlash from employees, Oak Ridge National Laboratory decided to drop a class that teaches how to minimize a southern accent.

ORNL spokesperson David Keim said employees had requested the class, and the laboratory’s human resources department decided to open it up to all of its 4,000 employees.

“The human resources department offers classes regularly for accent reduction,” Keim said. “Now, typically that’s for folks who are from other countries, because we have researches and staff from almost 100 foreign countries at the lab.”

So, what if it was a class to offer “accent reduction” for urban black youths? Or Latinos? Or people from Long Island and Boston? Racist! Or something.

On the flip side, one of my undergraduate professors once mentioned in class that he and his friend went to the same program at an Ivy League school. They were both from Mississippi. The school offered “accent reduction” and he did not go and his friend did. He said that he wasn’t convinced at the time but that he was now teaching at the University of Tennessee and his friend taught at Yale.


15 Responses to “Y’all are racist”

  1. mostly cajun Says:

    I’ve been in conversations where an English to Ebonics dictionary would have been useful.


  2. Paul Kisling Says:

    The easiest way to master the Southern Accent is to stick 1 baby carrot up each nostril and try to talk through your nose.

    My coworkers asked me why I made fun of them by not talking the Southern way. So I replied by shoving a baby carrot up each nostril and talking like they do… Strangely they did not take to kindly to that. They asked for it and they got it..

  3. Stretch Says:

    Had a female classmate at U. of Richmond, VA who had a delightful South-side (of the James River) accent.
    A while later I learned she grew up in northern VA and had perfected her accent in the 2 years she’d been there.
    “Why?” asks I.
    “‘Cause you would NOT believe what a woman can get away with an accent like this.”

  4. Adam Lawson Says:

    Paul, while the best way to adopt a northern accent involves sticking the carrot somewhere… else.

  5. HL Says:

    I suspect that to Paul, we all sound the same. See ya’ in hell, BillyYank.

  6. Jeff Powell Says:

    I have lived in many places in my life. Southern accents are much harder to understand than plain spoken english found in cities such as San Jose.

    What is wrong with trying to speak in a way that is universally easier to understand?

  7. wizardpc Says:

    Some Yankees just aren’t smart enough to process voices that don’t sound like theirs, I guess.

  8. Paul Kisling Says:

    I am essentially accent free to the point the lack of accent on any words at all sounds like a mastered 2nd or 3rd language.

    The Southerners think I am from up north.

    The Northerners think I am from California.

    The Westerners think I am from the UK or Canada.

    The Canadians think I am from Quebec.

    The Quebecois think I am from Quebec or continental Europe.

    The US Border Patrol thinks I am from Russia…(yes they asked)

  9. Gerry Says:

    We had a BOLO here in SOKY for a WM 25-30, 5’8 165# with a Northern accent.

    I hope the catch that Damn Yankee.

  10. mikee Says:

    My mom is from Pittsburgh, my dad is from Charlotte.

    I grew up confused about how to pronounce “Pecan” and thinking cabbage rolls were a Southern delicacy.

  11. Don Says:

    It has been my personal experience that adopting the local way of saying things tends to make more friends and better understanding.

    Spending time in Austria, I noticed some contention between the Viennese with their high German and the visiting Bavarians…seemed kinda funny to a foreigner and German student like me…but if it makes you happy to speak “better” English, there’s never enough happiness in the world.

  12. Don Says:

    My dad used to say a “pee-can” is something that goes under the bed at night (we aren’t that many generations with indoor plumbing).

  13. ParatrooperJJ Says:

    I’d much rather teach at UT vs Yale.

  14. Chris Says:

    Why don’t they offer a course to show you how to act like a yankee?

  15. Geodkyt Says:

    Stretch —

    My blonde cousin from Minnesota adopted a Southern accent while stationed in the South (F-15 crew chief) for just that reason.

    She drove a really crappy car, and NOT ONCE had to change a tire, look under the hood, check her oil, or anything. All by looking and sounding as Magnolia as possible.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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