SciFi and the Country Bumpkin: Afterthought…

In the earlier post occassioned by Count to a Trillion’s Menelaus Montrose’s Texas accent, I told the story about Charles G. Bell and his  fellow Southerners use of Deep Southern accents at Oxford.


Seal Beach – 20 minutes down the 605 from home.

Remembered belatedly that I did the same thing. Almost. See, I had an accent of the Deep South, too – Southern California. Beach flavored*. So, when exposed to a variety of regional accents at St. John’s in Santa Fe as an 18 year old, I tended strongly to stick with what I knew. My speech was heavily laden with utterances like ‘like’, ‘dude’, ‘whoa’ and ‘totally’. Native speakers of Surfer can carry on entire conversations using no other words:



“Like, whoa.”


“Totally like whoa, dude!”

and so on.  You probably think I’m making this up. If only, dude.

Now, while this sort of dialogue is surprisingly adequate for most of the activities native Surfer speakers engage in, it fell somewhat short when discussing Homer or Plato. But I gave it, as it were, the old college try.  Like, totally.

But, alas! Like a miniature Chuck Bell, I eventually was forced into something like Network English, which I mostly speak to this day.


* to the true connoisseur, SoCal offers a number of fairly distinct accents.  Valley Girl is famous (and frighteningly real). The Surfer accent is like Valley Girl on ‘ludes – or conversely, Valley Girl  is Surfer on reds – with a more colorful vocabulary.  My mom was from East Texas, but her first language was Czech, while my dad was from Oklahoma – we heard the occasional non-ironic “y’all” at my house. We were 20 minutes from the beach, just outside native environment of Surfer, but heavily influenced.  In other words, we were so doomed to talk funny.


Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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