KENT, Ohio (TDB) -- Daily Kent Stater columnist Doug Hite writes that his "vivid" Appalachian accent bestowed by the mountains of southwestern Virginia has been sabotaged by living in Ohio. Hite says he now talks like a flatlander. He seems to think that spoken English in the Buckeye State is as bland as a pot of vegetables with all the vitamins steamed out.
The junior English major resents Ohio's emphasis on speaking standardly without a hint of twang or colorful expression. Without mentioning the dreaded H-word (hil-bil--), Hite says Ohioans see a drawl as a sign of being backwards, or poor, or culturally inept.
"I once has a beautiful Appalachian dialect filled with y'alls, fur pieces and a unique syntax much more vivid and expressive than any other form of English I have heard. But that is now as distant to me as the mountains I grew up in the shadows of.
"How did you kill it? Through every depiction of a Southern drawl your 'standard' English has portrayed. My accent, through years of stereotypes spread by humor and the media, has been equated with ignorance and primitivism. This has been done by speakers of 'standard' English in a vain and often subconscious attempt to assert their way of life, their dialect and their regional home as greater and more advanced than that of other areas."