Accent discrimination

America-map.jpgWhich state are you from? Do you love your accent?

CNN recently asked people around the country to read out a standard text so that their accent could be evaluated. The common myth is that regional accents are becoming homogenised in our global media age, but linguists and the report seem to disprove this. CNN’s report also asked people to comment on their perceptions of their own accent and how they think others view it.

Some of the strongest opinions came from iReporters with “country” accents: Southern or Western. These accents are among the most stigmatized in the United States, and people who possess them have a wide range of views, from pride to annoyance.

“I hope that when others hear me speak, they hear me, not my western twang,” writes iReporter Sarah Beth Boynton, who was raised in Salt Lake City

Boynton grew up singing with her family and got sick of hearing that she should only sing country music because of her accent.

“I have made a concerted effort to speak with as little ‘western twang’ in my accent as possible,” she revealed. (Source: CNN.com)

Sadly it seems that discrimination against some regional accents still exists and also extends to international accents. A 2010 study from the Unviersity of Chicago found that people speaking with a ‘standard’ American accent were seen as more credible than those speaking with a ‘foreign’ accent.