"Georgia, right?" ... "Are you from North Carolina?"
My southern accent is a regular source of conversation and outright amusement amongst those I've met since moving to the Bay Area. People try to pinpoint where I'm from, but usually only those who are also from the South. No one ever guesses Tennessee, but I've gotten Kentucky a few times.
What is funny to me is how when I waited tables in Murfreesboro and in Nashville I was often asked from the locals where I was from. Because my Southern drawl wasn't as pronounced as every one else's. And I called it soda.
Then I went to work for a TV station that doled out a little charity and let me be on the air. I learned, or tried to learn, even more how to hide my Tennessee twang, though I'm not sure I ever succeeded. However, when I hang out with the good folks of Cheatham County, where I went to high school, the vocal divide is readily apparent. I have nowhere near as deep an accent as my Ashland City and Pleasant View friends.
I drop more g's when I've had a couple to drink, and I snap into a slower lilt when I'm on the phone with my terrificly twangy Mom, but on the whole I do not have a strong southern accent. Which is why this blog post from Honest Lee made me laugh:
i follow three people on twitter (via their xml rpc api via rss via newsbeuter). defectiveyeti (matthew baldwin), dooce (heather armstrong) and brittneyg. and i had no idea brittneyg had a southern accent
He's referring to a video segment I did for CBS 5 in San Francisco. And frankly, I don't really hear an accent. So, I want you to do me a favor. Watch this video and weigh in with your comment: Do you hear a Southern accent? I am particularly interested in how the answers will skew based on location.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?