How to tame an unruly Southern accent -

How to change your accent

"I." One little vowel that loves to take a Southern spin.

Deborah Boswell is a speech therapist trying to tame that long "i" into a regular "i."  

Carole Cain is one of her clients. Several years ago Carole, an Alabama native, was working for Southern Living -- a magazine that celebrates all things Southern.

But when she would go to New York for business, well….you know what happened every time she opened her mouth.

"They had made comments about it all in good fun," Cain explained. "Just mentioning it made me realize it was a distraction to them. Unfortunately, many non-Southerners view a Southern accent as less competent, less professional, less intelligent. So I felt especially in business and professional situations, if I wanted to be taken seriously, I needed to at least take the edges off of my Southern accent."

So Cain came to Boswell, who is also an Alabama native.

"I realize I have to be careful about this topic because it is part of our heritage," says Boswell. "I'm not on a mission to eradicate Southern accents, but I do want to work with those who find it to be a liability. Usually it's about softening the accent and improving the grammar that goes with it."

However, Boswell is quick to point out the good qualities of a Southern accent as well.

"It's gentile, approachable, friendly… it builds warmth," she says.

Boswell has developed a CD with 21 exercises to tame a wild Southern accent.  Are you ready? Let's crack the whip….watch the video above to see how we do!

Copyright  2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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