Saturday, November 1, 2008

How to Talk like a Southerner

This is so true. Although not a native, I've lived in the South for a long time (although I don't think the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia really qualify as Southern - but before that I lived in Atlanta for a long time, which come to think of it, a lot of Georgians would argue isn't really Southern either!). In my personal observation, the following is completely accurate. Nothing marks Southern female speech as much as "bless your heart." (Although leave a comment if you disagree.)

Dahlia Lithwick in Slate yesterday Bless Their Hearts: In the battle for a changing Virginia, Democrats may be changing faster than Republicans:

Standing outside the stunning beaux-arts lobby of Richmond's legendary Jefferson Hotel in August, I struck up a conversation with a woman who—noticing my not-from-here accent—offered what she described as the golden rule of talking like a Virginian. In her 50s or 60s, impeccably dressed, and racing to make a dinner reservation at one of the tony restaurants in the city's historic Shockoe Slip, she patiently explained: "If you want to sound like a real Virginian, you just say, 'Bless your heart' after every single sentence. Doesn't matter how mean it is! You just turn to your hairdresser and say, 'I hate this goddamn, stupid haircut, bless your heart,' and you're from Virginia!

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