Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
"You aren't from around here are you?"
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By Connie Kuhman
July 2, 2013 10:37 a.m.

As most of you have come to realize if you read my blog, I am a southern girl, born and raised and along with that I have an accent, or so I have been told! I was at a wedding a couple of weeks ago and was talking to a group of people and someone stopped me and asked me where I was from. This does catch me off guard sometimes because it is hard for me to hear my accent and I guess I think I talk like everyone else, which obviously I don’t! Over the years I have answered the phone or have spoken to someone and I get “you aren’t from around here are you?” Well no, I answer and the person usually says “that is some accent you have”. When I first moved here and people would comment on my accent I tried to not sound so “southern” when I talked, which was hard for me, but I soon realized that I am the way I am and I am proud of my heritage and where I grew up, so if I draw out my words for 12 syllables, or sound like I have stepped out of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show, well, it’s just how I am! And I wonder sometimes if I write that way too. It’s not that I don’t know the English language, English was my best subject in school, but sometimes I think my “southern-ness” comes through in my writing and may make some of you scratch your head and wonder what in the world I am talking about! I do tend to word things different sometimes and I use the word ain’t quite often, and I use to get in so much trouble in English class when I used that word, but it’s habit and I still use it!
I think that the part of Missouri where we live is neutral and there isn't really an accent. There are certain things that Missourians say that’s different from what I am used to. For example, here you say a stool and I say a toilet, the thing you use to water your garden you call a hose and I call a hose pipe. I say I am fixing to go to the grocery store, when you would just say, I am going to the grocery store, that one gets comments every time! A lot of people here say warsh instead of wash, I say ya’ll and most people here say you all. I will say that the longer I live here the more I do hear the southern in some people back home. Not so much my family because I talk to them often but I do have a few friends with thicker accents (more so than myself) and I can hear it sometimes. And it never fails; when I talk to one of them or go home for a visit my accent gets thicker.
I guess the moral of my story here is to be proud of who you are and where you are from! I wouldn’t trade where I grew up for anything and I am very proud of my southern heritage. But on the other hand, I do think it is important to also “bloom where you are planted” and be proud of where you live! I am proud to be a southern girl and I don’t always sound like I am from around these parts but I am proud to call Missouri my home ya'll!

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