I’ve been transcribing tapes of interviews for my book, and I’m amused to observe how much thicker my accent has become in the past month of living back here in south Louisiana. I just said something to one of my children, and caught myself so thick in gumbo-mud mushmouthery that I started the sentence over, and articulated the words as if I were navigating a bog atop stepping stones. Funny how this is happening; I’m not aware of it, consciously, but the tale of the tape tells otherwise. I had not been aware that I’d spent most of my life code-switching; I thought my accent had changed permanently. Glad to learn otherwise.

I never did lose the Southern thing entirely, thank goodness. My wife says that when we first started dating, she thought I came from “Wesley Shannon Parish,” because of the way I pronounced “West Feliciana” (wessleySHANNA, all slurred together).

An interesting variation in area accents. I notice that people who are originally from here, or one of the other Florida parishes, tend to pronounce the word “on” as oan. People who are from Baton Rouge, or one of the parishes in Acadiana, tend to say owun. My neighbor is a linguist. Must make an inquiry.

I had to explain to my son the other day what a “podna” is, and why his grandfather calls him that.