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OAK RIDGE, TN (AP) — Some employees at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee complained about a class aimed at teaching them how to reduce their Southern accents. Now, managers are calling the whole thing off.

The course had been advertised as a way to feel confident in meetings, when one might need to speak with a more neutral accent. The class was touted as a way to “be remembered for what you say and not how you say it.”

Carolyn Ward of ORNL’s Learning and Development Services told the Knoxville News Sentinel that an employee requested the class, so it was offered for others too.

ORNL spokesman David Keim said the class “probably wasn’t presented in the right way” and managers decided to cancel it after other employees complained.

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  • doreene w

    Our entire United States of America spans quite a few miles, folks. That being said, there is going to be regional, state county, city, and neighborhood dialects, accents, and tones. Even then, you may not get a direct hit on the guessing exactly where someone is from. Who knows, they could have moved from Georgia to Louisiana and lived with a Spanish-Italian grandmother who never spoke English except as a form of pigeon.

    Everyone thinks that everyone else talks funny we pick and choose who is intelligent by just their accent???

    I include myself in this too – The upper East Coast has that unnerving nasal Northeastern John F. Kennedy accent. Only my opinion and I don’t judge their intelligence or compassion levels by the cold deadpan tones of their home region, but man it sounds horrible to me and puts me on edge.

    Funny thing is, this internet and cable tv ill be the death sentence for most accents anyhow. In an age where we download or stream or multimedia cable television, when was the last time you heard a good Southern bell accent on a newscaster? You hear that lack of accent long enough, it does grow on you. I find it insulting that media demands we all speak alike.

    I am not sure where I am going with this this, but I do have one thing to say to those who feel a Southern accent isn’t their cup of tea. Too bad, no one is asking or caring what you or anyone else prefers. An offended ear does not a real problem make.

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