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How scarce is the my middle Tennessee Souther Accent,ect.?

Hi there!

I grew up in a very small town, technically in middle Tennessee, but really about 1.5 hours from 3 major cities in TN: Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Some people say they are from the middle of nowhere, but I mean it:)

In the years since graduation college, I have moved all over the country. Starting in LA, then Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago and now I live in Denver. I stopped trying to lose my very strong Southern accent while in Chicago because it helped people remember me and made me seem friendlier, which was a boon in my sales position.

Now I have 3 sons and I want to preserve some of the amazing colloquialism from youth, and so am attempting to write a book with some of the best loved sayings that I grew up hearing used in everyday language (ie. "Like a duck on a june bug")

I would love to learn some background on the language I spoke growing up and thought your organization might be able to help. Could you possibly answer the following:

  1. What other cultures have shaped the Southern Accent, specifically the Middle TN accent.
  2. How is our accent similar or dissimilar to other Southern accents?
  3. In what year will we have no Southern accent? And here's the kicker: This may not be special or unique to my family, but we didn't just use the same colloquialism that our neighbors used, we went a step further and started making up words. One in particular, wewawed (pronounced wee-wauwed, meaning crooked or bend) holds a special place in my heart and I still use today. Can you tell me where we may have gotten this word? It isn't in any dictionary that I can find and I've never met anyone else who's family used it.

Thank you so much for your time and assistance!

Dana Mabry Schoonover