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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Y'all Talk Funny!

Posted September 19, 2007 7:51 a.m. EDT

I have endured a lot of good-natured teasing over the years about the way I talk. I am proud of my Southern roots but I also realize that as a broadcaster I must develop somewhat of a neutral dialect. Back in my college years I carried a tape recorder with me and constantly worked on my delivery by listening, refining and polishing.

Still, my Southernese comes through. Former WRAL Anchor Laurie Clowers used to kid me about the way I said the word "umbrella" because I put the accent on the first instead of second syllable.

Missouri native Lynda Loveland teased me about the way I said "horrible." My pronunciation was more HAHR-uh-bul versus HOR-uh-bul.

And is it Wake FOR-ist or Wake FAHR-ist?

I teased Lynda this morning about the way she pronounced "caramel." Lynda said KARR-muhl. I say KAIR -uh-muhl.

We both say "pecan" as pah-KAHN but a lot of people insist on PEE-kan.

Listen to the way Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards says words like "nice," "night" and "fight." It is very Southern.

Today's question: what words or phrases set Southerners apart?